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He was walking down the un-tarred road of Ishieke, this boy with a neat afro cut and chalk-white shorts.

If there was someone walking along the street at that time, perhaps a teenager, said teenager would see him; this boy on chalk-white shorts and ripped red polo. The ripped red polo would have absolutely drawn the teenager’s attention; this ripped red polo had always drawn a second glance.

But there was no teenager walking down the street. Just him walking down the lonely road, a thousand naira note in his left pocket, his phone, plans to get a meal and go home.

Home is another place, another state, another house that isn’t the yellow two-story student’s lodge that he came out of. Home is where food is served morning, afternoon and night. Home is where his lover comes; the chocolate girl from across the street, the one that calls him Beau, and the one that tells him that Beau means a Male-lover.

Home is where there is no worry, just peace and comfort.

Turns out he wasn’t alone on the dusty streets of Ishieke. Turns out there was a group of guys approaching—one taller than the rest—all in black faded jeans that had obviously seen better days. This guy in chalk-white shorts seemed to be in a haste when he bumped into them; these three guys that look like street thugs with unkempt hair and grimy footwear.

Maybe if there was a drone—the type loved by hobbyists—flying in the air, it would have caught the guy in chalk-white shorts shooting glares at the three thugs blocking his way. But there was no hobbyist drone in the air… just the silent, invisible one owned by intelligence agencies; the type that officially does not exist.

There was no drone. And there was no one else.

There was no one to witness the three thugs harass the guy in chalk-white shorts and ripped red polo. No one saw them demand for his iPhone 7 and wallet. No one saw the tallest one wave a silver revolver at the guy in the chalk-white shorts, his trigger finger restless, the nose of the revolver pointed at the guy.

The whole show was meant for intimidation. Any sane person would wet their pants. But the guy in the chalk-white shorts didn’t blink once in fear.

Seeing he won’t yield, they unanimously agreed to pounce on him.

Only the secret drone witnessed what happened next.

The birds in the nearby trees flew away at the muffled sound of gunshots; three.

Later the rumors would spread; rumors that left market women and okada riders shocked; rumors that left the jaws of the cleaner at Ishieke Central Police station hanging agape.

The official statement would say that three dead bodies were found along the streets in pools of their blood, their clothes dusty, and a bullet hole in each of them. The statement would also say that the killer or killers were yet to be arrested and no suspect had been named yet.

He would read this report on the Internet days after the incident—this guy on chalk-white shorts, and will scroll through it without reacting or commenting.

Others would comment in the streets, online and in the bars that the assassinator murdered them with a silenced pistol. They would say that was why no gunshots were heard. They would tag it a gang war, a harbinger for more violence to come.

No one would ever know what or how it happened. The guy in chalk-white shorts knew, but said nothing when he got home safely to the peace and comfort of his lover.

Published inFictionShort Stories

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