The Devil’s Knife.

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Episode 1/scene 1

She killed her husband’s ex girlfriend and hoped to have peace at home at last. “What’s this thing you have done, Lizzy? Why would you murder someone who had practically done nothing wrong to you!” Mike fumed as he hovered around her like falcon with murderous intent and swift-muscle. Lizzy looked him in the face eyeball to eyeball. She was as defiant as ever. She is Lizzy, that same high school girl who bit men in basketball matches, effortlessly. She knew what she wanted and how to go about having them. She, who dropped out of high school when she became pregnant for Mike and refused to abort the baby simply because she fell in love for the first time and would not let go of the love of her life. And that love was Mike, a tall, lanky, dark, handsome rough guy in school who changed girls like clothes and whose late father was a club bouncer.

Mike walked with a swag and exuded an unparalleled confidence. He was like a bull that must be tamed and tethered and Lizzy knew from the onset exactly what to do with him. She wanted him all to herself and would give anything in her quest to have him; she would get pregnant for him and refuse to go through the devil’s knife, after all, she was a Roman Catholic. That bait alone, had brought most men to their knees. “I cannot spill an innocent blood, let alone my unborn baby. It will put me to hell”, was the normal rhetorics from girls who were determined to keep their illegitimate babies for other illegitimate or legitimate reasons.
It was another sporting day.

Mike was known for high jump. Lizzy did not practice her basketball. She was perching around the high jump ground with other girls who also came for their own curiosity. All eyes were on Mike as he stretched, bent, ran and jumped to their admiration. He got so much applause especially from girls who wanted him to notice them.

The least he had to do was smile and wave back as if humbled by their unsolicited devotion towards him. Even as he was always pleased with himself for the many attention and would often show it by his killer-swag. Lizzy was among the girls. She also saw how Mike had ignored eyes contacts and stuck-out tongues as love signals from the girls.

The girls were crazy about him, Lizzy was more but calculated and patient. She knew how to win. And she believed that she would win him over to herself especially today that that his bitch of a girlfriend was not around. It was as if fate was smiling at her. If that his girlfriend, Agnes were around, she would not have much chance to charm him. Agnes was a spoilt child from a rich family. Her father was a government contractor. She used money and expensive gifts to hold onto Mike. And she never left his side during sports or classes. So, it was a miracle that she traveled suddenly and Lizzy was determined to make good use of her absence at once.

So, she slowly walked up to where Mike was seated on a pavement under a mango tree. He was removing his dirtied stockings, throwing them into a backpack and changing into new ones. He liked to be seen as one clean guy around. She stopped, turned and knelt on one knee as if she was retying her canvas lenses.

Her short white skirt and blouse that revealed most of her deep ‘crevices’ were on purpose.. Mike looked away with a sneer. It was nothing new to him.

“OK. We shall see who wins. You stubborn goat!” She muttered to herself and got up. She walked straight to him. “Hi. I’m Lizzy”, she said with a forced smile and sat beside him unapologetically. She pretended not to have noticed his disapproving and disoriented stance. “Hi”, he responded, busy zipping up his pack as if he was trying to hide something from her. Lizzy smiled to him again, yearning. “Oh, you act as if you have something in there, a condom?” She teased him and gently scratched the back of her head with a finger.

She was determined to hold the bull by the horn, no beating about the bush. He looked startled by her words and guts. He gave her a surprised and size-up, guy man’s appraisal. She caught his eyes and eyed him back. And it stuck between them. She just showed him that she was not afraid and neither was she ashamed of saying her mind. “I’m Lizzy”, she said again, offering him her hand in handshake this time. He reluctantly hand shook her. “Mike”, he said sharply. “I knew”, she said, giving him a real smile now. “So?” He tried to snub her, but she was not having any of that as she cut him short. “I just got somewhat bored and I felt like, why not, why can’t I be friends with the most popular guy in school?” She suggested as if he was a trophy waiting to be won. “So, here I’m, you can reject me now for all you care”, she decided to throw that last line in to him as a good ball with a huge risk. It was a game she must win and fast too. He stood up and observed her a bit. “What of if I tell you that I’ve a girlfriend who is always on the lookout for me. And I love her”, he said flatly as if to close the chapter with her there and then.

Lizzy looked sideways if there were people around paying attention to their conversation and saw none. So, she stood up too and raised her skirt a little below decency. “Tell me, don’t you want this?” She urged him, gesturing with a little sway here and there and he became vulnerable. “I can make you happy. I can give you as long as you want. I can switch you off from other girls like NEPA. You need to taste my own soup and see which is better. You cannot continue to lick the same soup of your girlfriend and think that’s the end of the world. Try me”, she declared desperately.

Mike grit his teeth and licked up the saliva that was dropping it’s way through his parted round lips. He was thinking many things at a time. “So easy”, he thought. “I must see this through to the end”, he spoke loudly unknowingly. “I’m a game. You are a sportsman. Come and get me”, she said with a mock smile. “I’ve been ready for you for a long time and now as long as you have your condom and enough fire in you!” Mike looked morose. He was more confused because he could not believe his ears. She had stirred the devil in him. And now, he could not control himself again nor the devil. All he had to do was to allow himself to float with the tide no matter where it could lead him. “Girl, you are tempting me, he roared like a hungry lion ready to pounce on anything. “No”, she replied simply, moving closer to him and whispering into his ear. “I’m trying to seduce you. If you have some balls, then follow me and I will teach you what fire can do with the ear of a rat”, she nibbled his ear in conclusion and wickedly swung her hips momentarily before starting off.

Mike swallowed hard and was unable to think. That girl must be something else to have displayed such uncouth and unruly behavior…could she be Jezebel or another Delilah? Yet, he agreed, she was very very lively and interesting to interact with. And she had given him an open invitation and why not? Why not now? Why should he keep it tomorrow or even think it over? It won’t take anything from him to get her down. He has to teach her some lessons if she could come so loose and cheap. “I, Mike, shall show you, Lizzy, that it’s not all men that you can switch off just like that. Some men are like volcano and I’m one of them….

TO BE CONTINUED.

Tochukwu Christopher Ulasi is a native of Nnewi in Nnewi-North LGA of Anambra State. He is a degree holder from a reputable university here in Nigeria. He has three locally self-published literary books- ‘the return of a god’ (drama), ‘the throbbing of the heart’ (poetry), ‘the sounds of silence’ (collection of short stories), and ‘Rabboni’ (poetry), which was published in the USA. He has won some literary awards and has contributed works to some anthologies and journals. He was a past financial secretary of ANA Enugu state chapter and later became an acting Secretary of same.

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