Episode Five here
SIX – I WANTED HER DEAD!
Fr. Chrys was not having a good day at all. Not only had he been treated to another bone-chilling confession from Veronica and Justina, he’d also gotten a call from Charles that the autopsy investigations were still inconclusive.
They hadn’t found any incriminating evidence that might make the cause of death anything but natural. But as he’d pointed out, the results for the presence of poison tests weren’t yet out – so until they were, nothing could be certain.
Nothing could be certain except that a teenage girl was dead and her body was being subjected to scientific pokes and prods instead of being committed back to Mother Earth.
He sprang up from his chair and paced the small office.
This was what frustrated him most about the Nigerian Police and their ill-equipped investigation system and laboratories. Everything was done at such a snail pace as if they had all the time in the world and worse still, the results were most often doubtful.
Episode One here
Two – I think I killed her… Part 1
It was about 6:55pm. The Mass for Dana had ended some twenty minutes ago. With the Mass over, the entire household had gone straight into the house to begin preparations for supper.
Fr. Chrys hadn’t joined them – he had no appetite. Instead he’d chosen to lock himself in his study room and have a quiet time.
He was sitting there now – inside the small room with only a desk and three chairs, a book shelf and a wood-frame hanger for his most commonly used Priestly garment. He was reading Peace of Soul by Fulton J. Sheen. He’d read it before, but usually reread it whenever he was feeling despondent. The quiet, candid words had always been a kind of soothing balm to his heart.
A hesitant, soft tap came at the door. He raised his head and stared at the dark mahogany door for a moment.
Find Prologue here
One – Finding the body.
Father Chrysostom Okeze woke up every morning at exactly 4:30 a.m. He was the spiritual director of the Good Shepherd’s home. He has been for the last seven years. The small community where the The Good Shepherd’s chapel was located loved him, the few workers in the home loved him, the children loved him, everyone loved Fr. Chrys – that was what they all called him and it especially tickled the fanciful young minds of the teenagers because his ‘Chrys‘ was spelt with a y.
This morning he got up about two minutes even before his alarm went off. He made the sign of the cross and muttering the Morning Offering he swiftly took of his night clothes of sky-blue striped pajamas and walked into the small-sized bathroom attached to his room.
In less than five minutes, he was out and in another five minutes, he was dressed in a pair of charcoal-grey trousers and an off-white short-sleeved shirt. He marched to the old dark walnut desk, picked up his breviary, his royal-blue chain Rosary and his Bible and hastened out of the room and straight into the small chapel just down the hall from his bedroom. Twenty minutes of verbal prayers and Bible reading and he was out again and marching through the semi-lit sitting room and through the already opened porch door, mumbling the repetitive prayers of the Virgin Mary’s Angelic Psalter.
This is purely a work of fiction. It relates in no way to any person or group. And is not intended to disparage in any way at all the Holy Church, her clergy and her faithful.
One – Two – Three – Four – Five – Six – Seven – Eight – Nine – Epilogue
Prologue – Dana Bala.
Dana Bala had arrived the Good Shepherd’s Home just about a year and half ago. She’d been dropped off by a mother who hadn’t spoken to anyone or even explained why she was leaving her daughter at the home. The woman had just parked her car in front of the gate, ordered Dana to get down and go inside and introduce herself to the Priest-in-charge and she’d driven off. At least that had been Dana’s story and witnessed by the old gateman who’d been at his usual spot under the big tree beside the gate on that fateful evening. Almost eighteen months now, that car hadn’t shown up at the gate and no one was really expecting it to.
The Good Shepherd’s Home was a home for abandoned and homeless teens. Most of them left by parents and guardians who promise to come back for them but never do. A very few just arrive the home on their own – seeking shelter, food, clothing and family. Many leave after a while and most never come back even to say thank you to those who nurtured and cared for them. Really the tale of the proverbial ten lepers.
Episode Ten here and One
Final Episode – Best forgotten!
Three days later, Lola and I were in the sitting room watching the 6:30 p.m. news when a light knock came at the door. Lola got up to go answer the door.
“Oh, Christabel, it’s you.” I heard her call out in a slightly alarmed tone. “How are you? Please do come in.” She stepped aside from the door and I turned and watched as Christabel walked into the room smiling brightly.
“Good evening, Madam Lola. Good evening Mr. Elvis.” She greeted stopping just a few feet from me.
“Good evening, Christabel.” I replied returning her smile. “Please have a seat.” I gestured to the chair adjacent mine, and she nodded and walked over to sit down.
“You are looking much better.” Lola commented coming back to join me on the sofa.
Episode Seven here
Eight – What Happened?
Christabel was alive!
That was our shocking realisation. She was tied to the refrigerator with a green braided rope – one I had bought weeks back for an extra cloth-line. She was making concentrated effort to come out of what must have been a loss of consciousness… not death. The moaning sounds coming from her slightly parted lips were mostly mumbled incomprehensible words. And she was alive!
I hastened into the rather dusty room – I guess it hadn’t been cleaned for a while. I hardly ever come in here. It was Lola’s makeshift laundry room and general dump house. I suppose that’s why she’d chosen it for her body-hideout, knowing I wasn’t likely ever to come in here.
Episode Six here
Seven – Christabel!
I finally managed to quieten the wailing Lola and dragged her to the sofa.
Her eyes were still red-rimmed, her chest was still heaving and her lips were still quivering but she was making visible signs to hold down her sobs. My fear-numbed mind was slowly rising back to life and my grey matter was quickly recovering its thinking ability. A semblance of sane thought was pushing through the foggy mist blocking my reason and pushing forward to the surface and I could now clearly decipher the question groaning deep within me… how?
“Lola, you need to calm down and talk to me.” I took her hand, it was trembling. “Lola, are you listening to me?”
She bobbed her head.
“Okay. Now I need you to tell me what really happened. How did you …” My voice trailed off. I couldn’t call my wife a killer. She can’t have killed Christabel.