Dead Men’s Path CHAPTER 2
Jack stretched to his full length on his bed, and turned over to the other side to continue sleeping. Someone was ringing a big bell close to his ears.
He waved it off sleepily but failed to make contact with the bell and the ringer. The wave seemed to delay the ringer. But he soon started again, this time very close to his ears. No matter how much he waved or kicked, the ringing would not stop.
After a lifetime of kicking and waving, he was forced to open his eyes. The sun rays from the little opening in the curtain just then blown aside by the wind streamed into his eyes.
“Argh,” he said and turned again, struggling to sleep. But sleep was fast retreating, running away from his beckoning hands. The bell-ringer was clanging the bell very close to his ears, so close it seemed to be coming from his head. His eyes opened slowly. No, not his head.
The ringing was coming from… his phone. It took him 30 seconds to realise he had a call. He started beating about the place frantically for his phone. The phone, deciding to end its hide and seek game, appeared at one of the places his hands beat. He picked it up with a grateful sigh. The caller ID showed Newman. That was his partner at the FBI, agent Newman. He was already calling him, first day of work.
“Oh Jack, you sleepyhead,” he muttered and accepted the call.
“Jack, jack right?”
“Right. This is Jack.”
“I’m parked outside your house.”
“Yes, outside. We have work to do.”
Jack hurried through his morning rituals, got a cup of coffee and raced out to join Newman.
“Were you giving birth just now?” his partner asked.
“I…don’t, I don’t understand.”
“You took your time.”
The car roared to life and sprang forward. Jack’s coffee spilled on his well ironed trousers, drawing a yelp of pain from him. Newman did not as much as move an eyebrow. If something had happened in his car, he did not seem to know. He made it all look very natural, his being oblivious of the happenings around him. Jack swallowed whatever it was he wanted to say. Newman did not look like a talker.
“Someone tipped us off on something,” Newman began. “We have to check it out.”
“Where are we going now?”
“To meet someone for a nice chitchat.”
“Here,” Newman handed him a file, removing his eyes on the road for a moment.
Jack went through the file. The information it contained was disturbing. There was the possibility of a colossal scandal of bribery and corruption. So far, the only person, according to the file, who can be arrested now based on evidence already obtained. The person was an aide to the Mayor. That was obviously the person they were going to see. Newman, of course, will do the questioning while he would stand idly by, watching.
Senator Watford watched his secretary through the transparent glass partition. She was flying all over the place again, like a bird, trying to get things done. He wondered if he would not just leave all of his work to her and concentrate on the lobbyist.
There was so much money to be gained from those folks. Last night, he got the transfer to his account, faraway from the shores of America where the ugly fingers of the government would not be able to reach. He had served his country well, and deserved something good from his country for a change. Something his first son would not agree with. The boy was born with the heart of a servant. Every attempt he made at explaining things to his son ended up pulling them further apart.
Eden lived in his own reality, which was no reality at all. Everybody in the family, Eden’s three brother and one of his sisters had fallen in line, but not Eden. He was always trying to be something different, always with this unrealistic dreams of being a martyr and he was tired.
He stood up slowly and walked to the window. Tennessee, a place to amass as much wealth as you could before the shit hit the fan. He would be out by then, leaving the field for his sons and daughter. Smart ones those. He just hoped and prayed that Eden would not become stupid one day, to the extent of taking sides with the self-righteous elements in the government.
A shrill sound erupted from behind him. He turned and moved slowly to his phone.
“A man here to see you, sir. Said he’s a representative of Duna Electrics.”
“Send him in.”
The line went dead and he put the phone back down. He went back to starring outside, through the glass, at the lights and the city. He did not feel anything. Eden kept asking if he could not feel his conscience flinch. Silly boy. Maybe when he grows up, he would find that conscience is a human construct. One only feels bad when he wants to.
“Senator Watford,” a man announced at the door of the senator’s office. He had let himself in. Now he approached the senator’s desk confidently.
“Mr. Brown, I did not expect to see you so soon.”
The senator turned dramatically from the window and stared pointedly at the business man.
“The circle I represent has more offers to make.”
“But we are not done with the first.”
“I saw the bill at the Senate yesterday. If that’s not passed, I wonder what would ever be passed there. Your presentation was brilliant.”
“Thank you. Please sit.”
Both men sat down and weighed each other. There was something about Mr. Brown’s easygoing nature that the senator found disconcerting. He could not put a finger to it. It was all well carried out if it was an act. The senator thought it was. At the same time, he did not believe it was.
“This offer, what is it?” he asked.
Samuel Ogechukwu thinks of himself as a writer, a superhero, a song writer, the prince in shining armour for some lady in his fairy tale. He believes this too, because well, his stories are his, and he can be anything in every one of them.