Besieging Mubi

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Water trickled uncontrollably through the closed doors of a deserted wine bar. The bar attendants were too scared to even remember to turn it off. The armored tankers crossed and recrossed the dusty streets. The insurgents’ boots beat the ground and lifted dust high up in the air. It was October. The sun flared day after day and it did not have pity, and neither did the insurgents. A day went by and the capturing, maiming, beheading increased, steady, unbroken by tears. The loosed sandy soil became compacted, crimson red at the slaughter site.

Submitted: April 21, 2016

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Submitted: April 21, 2016

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Chapter One

Water trickled uncontrollably through the closed doors of a deserted wine bar. The bar attendants were too scared to even remember to turn it off. The armored tankers crossed and recrossed the dusty streets. The insurgents' boots beat the ground and lifted dust high up in the air. It was October. The sun flared day after day and it did not have pity, and neither did the insurgents. A day went by and the capturing, maiming, beheading increased, steady, unbroken by tears. The loosed sandy soil became compacted, crimson red at the slaughter site.

The dawn came, but there was no activity-no buying, no selling, no kids playing in the sand, nothing. Just fear, stone cold shiver. The machine guns, the swords raised high up in the sky, capable of scaring even the most notorious demon in hell, the severed heads, limbs, and bloody rivulets. Alongside the traumatized war prisoners, mostly females, whose fate hung in the balance, whose hearts hung outside their chests.

"Allahu akbar! Allahu akbar!" The insurgents screamed, brandishing their swords and guns with every chant.

The wind carried their chants for as long as it could bear them. Silence returned. Golden silence. And then again the chant, and then again the silence, sending shivers down the spine of Lizzy and her father, Roberts, who were both hiding underneath the bed in their apartment. They had been at that spot for two days, and their mobile phones, their only mode of communication, lasted as long as their laptop batteries, which they used to power them, did. Their mobile phones were out, and even if they weren't, help wasn't anywhere in sight. They lay still, quietly, thinking, figuring, hoping. And then with a sudden pump of adrenaline in their veins, they beheld a harsh, bloodshot eye glaring through the loosely covered checkered red veil, hungrily seeking some poor unfortunate victim, some infidel, enemy of allah, but finding only Lizzy and her father. Cruelty responded to anxiety. There was no escape, not a single chance. Water ran out of their eyes. This scary figure wore a khaki uniform, his hands gloved with faded black tapestry that have outlived their duration, his floridly curved lips revealed deep yellow-stained teeth. The atmosphere was cold. Dead nervousness. Fear.

He called out to a troop of complaisant child soldiers who waited outside, rather abjectly, at his command in heavy breathing anxiety, the ruthless, fierce look of determined merchants of loots. There was not a trace of innocence in their eyes, and their countenance knew not compassion.

"Allahu akbar! Allahu akbar!" these little rascals shouted in a frenzied manner, with a cracked voice that you would promptly reject in a choir audition. Lizzy was separated from Roberts, who was rounded up with other male captives. The shrieks, the screams, the pleas for mercy all fell on deaf ears.

Two weeks ago everything was fine. Her father was a lecturer with the department of computer engineering, Federal Polytechnic, Mubi, and she was a 200 level Accounting student at Adamawa State University in the same town. They had at first resided at Ekiti State-dad, mum, siblings, everyone-until dad was transferred to Mubi and daddy's girl thought it was good idea to school where dad was. Until it was not.

The male prisoners, surrounded everywhere by fierce looking insurgents, were slapped, stabbed, kicked and taken to a nearby bush. They cried and screamed and bargained for mercy, and in a little while they did not try anymore.

Lizzy wept uncontrollably, her face buried in her hands, her heart racing in her chest. He father was dead for sure and she knew it, until she lifted up her face and saw from afar dad's bloodied face, apparently the only one alive. She rose up from her squat position, wiped her tears and just stared.

What happened? How did he do it? What did he tell them?


© Copyright 2017 Lawson Luke. All rights reserved.

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