Fiction: Soldier Go, Soldier Come

By Ikenga Chronicles February 4, 2018

Fiction: Soldier Go, Soldier Come

–Chioma Ngaikedi

Ifechukwu will kill someone today. A man. Twice his size. Rough beards. Bulging stomach. He knew the route the man takes home from work. The man would drive through the rough road behind Zion primary school before connecting to the express road that leads straight to his home in Awada Layout. He always heads home by 8:20pm right after taking three bottles of Heineken at Carol’s shop. This was his routine everyday except on Thursdays when he branches to the whore house. His favorite whore was Mary. He likes them fat with very big breasts.

Ifechukwu has been studying this man for three months now. He didn’t need a map. His plan was etched in his mind. He took a key out of his breast pocket and opened the lower drawer. He removed a gun. A black pistol with a fading yellow paint at the base of the handle. He picked it up. Zaga had promised this will work. He said one shot is enough to send a giant to his ancestors.

“But you go need shark wella before you use am o! Gun dey need moral. Make your eyes shine like torch,” Zaga advised.

Ifechukwu didn’t listen to him. He knew he didn’t need marijuana or alcohol to carry out his mission. Vengeance was his fuel.

He picked the gun and tucked it in the back band of his black trousers and pulled his blue shirt over it. A rusty lamp cast golden shadows across the room. The room a shabby one room apartment he shared with his mother. He looked at a clock hanging next to his parent’s wedding photograph. It was 7:30pm. The sound of his mother’s pestle sipped into the room. She was preparing dinner. Doubt crept into his heart. Should he proceed or shouldn’t he? He was all his mother has. If anything goes wrong… Nothing will go wrong. He decided. With one deep breath, he sealed his fate and walked out of the door.

8:10pm, Ifechukwu was squatting in the swampy bushes with overgrown elephant grasses caressing his skin. Mosquitoes were making a feast of him but he didn’t care. He waited. His eyes set on the road. The trunks of wood he had laid on the road were still in position. The road is lonely. Silent. Except for the pounding of his heart.

8:15pm. Ifechukwu’s eyes darted from his wristwatch to the road.

8:17pm.

8:18pm.

8:20pm. Breath froze in his nostrils. His hand went behind him and pulled out the gun.

8:21pm. A headlamp illuminated the road. A red golf car glided down the path. Ifechukwu waited. His breath came in pants. The gun trembled in his left hand. The car stopped at the roadblock. A man alighted. It was him, Johnny. Ifechukwu walked toward him. Where is the joy in shooting a man’s back? Ifechukwu wanted his face to be the last Johnny will ever see. He wanted his name to be the last he will utter. He wanted to hear him plead, cry, then die.

Johnny was carrying the last piece of trunk off the road. He turned and bumped into ifechukwu. A gun pointed at his face. The trunk slipped from his hand and landed in the muddy water. The water splashed, splattering mud on their legs. No one blinked.

“Ife… Ife… Ifechukwu,” Johnny stammered. “Why?”

Rage exploded in Ifechukwu at the sound of the question. He aimed at Johnny’s thigh. The shot reverberated in the night. Johnny slumped on the floor. His hands held his left thigh. Blood soiled his light blue jeans. His face was a twisted mask of pain.

Ifechukwu loved the sight of the man he loathed writhing in pains.

“Oga Johnny!” Ifechukwu said,pointing the gun at him as he waved his useless stump of a right arm in Johnny’s face.

“My hand was cut off while working in your factory. What did you do?” Answer me! ” Ifechukwu bellowed. Tears flowed down his face.

” The very next day, you employed another to take over my position. Head Operator, Johnny Nylon manufacturing company. Solider go, solider come, barrack no dey empty.”

“Ifechukwu, I’m sorry!” Johnny cried,trembling on the ground.

“4 young men: Chuka, Emmanuel, Ugonna and myself. Four young men with their hopes for better life grinded in your machines.”

“I will compensate! Please, Ifechukwu! I swear. 2 million naira. 10 million naira. I will pay anything.”

Ifechukwu looked at him, growling in the mud. Tears running down his face. Crying didn’t suit Oga Johnny. His bulky frame was made for barging into the factory and screaming orders at his slave workers.

“Please! Please.”Johnny cried.

Ifechukwu’s eyes shone in mirth.

“Oga, Johnny, I love the way you beg” Ifechukwu murmured as he raised the gun to his face.

 

  • Chioma Ngaikedi is a writer, filmmaker, blogger and CARPENTER. Check out her personal blog; www.chiomangaikedi.com
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