All week I'm going to share Chapter One for Freddie Entangled in parts. So come back everyday to find out what happens next.
The Essien Series, Book 6
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Copyright© 2017 Kiru Taye
Editor: Zee Monodee
Cover Artist: Love Bites and Silk
All rights reserved.
No part of this story may be used
or reproduced electronically or in print without written
permission, except in the case of brief quotations
embodied in reviews.
The woman took steady steps across the bedroom floor, a Japanese design, 13cm-utility knife with a strong black handle gripped tight in her right hand. At the foot of the large wooden frame bed, she stopped and stared at the figure sprawled across the paisley cotton sheets. The middle-aged man lay on his back, his mouth slightly open, the sound of his snores a patterned background noise. With two steps, she reached his side of the bed. She stretched out her left hand to shake him while she held the right hand at her back. He needed to be awake for what came next.
He stirred, turned to his side, but didn’t wake up.
“Segun,” she called out, prodding him harder.
He lay on his back and opened his eyes, his expression confused. “Lily? What is it?”
“It’s judgement day.” She lifted her right hand, making the low light from the bedside lamp catch on the surgical sharpness of the stainless knife in her hand as it arched downwards.
“And cut!” Joel Ali, the film director, announced, halting all action on set.
Kike Ogun lowered the hand holding the knife and shook out her shoulders, glad to have completed the scene without a hitch. She’d been immersed in the role of an abused woman who kills her husband over the past two weeks.
“Let’s take a five minutes break and then I want to go over the scene one final time,” Joel continued.
Oh? Kike could protest. They’d already acted the episode five times with tiny mistakes. This last take had been without any errors.
But Joel existed as a perfectionist, his reputation widely acknowledged. If something wasn’t right, they would do it a thousand times until the scene played out exactly as he wanted it.
Instead of complaining, she plastered a smile on her face and sashayed over to the corner where the production team reserved a seat for her. Experienced, she breathed professionalism, having worked in Nollywood, the Nigerian movie industry, for close to twenty years. She liked working with Joel for his excellence, not to mention that Rebel Studios, spearheaded by Tony Essien, had the best movie production team in Nigeria.
The make-up lady appeared before Kike and started doing her thing. Kike pulled the phone out of her bag to find it buzzing. She always put the phone to vibrate instead of ring whilst on set. She hated when other people’s phones interrupted the flow, and she would never want to cause disruptions.
She unlocked the screen and found she’d already missed three calls—one from her husband, Lekan, and two from Ranti, Kike’s distant cousin who lived with them and helped out in the house.
Her chest tingled. Conversations with Lekan could rarely be termed pleasant these days, and she didn’t want him spoiling her mood in the middle of a busy day. So she called Ranti back first. The girl probably needed a reminder of Kike’s instructions for what to do after school.
“Mummy,” Ranti answered with what sounded like a sob.
“Ranti, what’s the problem?” Kike asked as she raised her index finger for the make-up lady to give her a minute.
“Mi o ri Yomi,” the girl replied with a sniff. When upset, she always slipped into speaking Yoruba.
Chills spread goose bumps along Kike’s arms. She couldn’t have heard right. “What do you mean, you can’t find Yomi? Are you not at the same school?”
Ranti and Yomi attended the same school premises, although eleven-year-old Yomi learned in the junior section while sixteen-year-old Ranti studied in the senior. They went to school and came home together. Yomi’s classes finished an hour earlier, and he sometimes had after school clubs, to keep him occupied while he waited for Ranti.
“He wasn’t where we usually meet up. I’ve searched for him, and I can’t find him,” Ranti replied.
Kike’s heart jolted in her chest. She should not panic. Deep breaths. “Are you sure you’ve looked everywhere? Where he does club?”
“Yes, Mummy, I looked. He’s not there.”
Somewhere in the background, the director called time. “Places, people.”
Kike’s stomach rolled. Her son could be missing. She couldn’t concentrate until Ranti found Yomi. Logic dictated he had to be on the school premises. Where else would he go?
She had to take matters into her own hand.
“Go and ask the teachers. Maybe someone has seen him. I’m coming over there now. So when you find him, just wait for me,” Kike said as she got off the chair.
Her hands shook as she ended the call and made a beeline for Joel, just as everyone else in the scene got into place.
Want more? Come back tomorrow for the next instalment.
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