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Here is the last episode of the suspense filled and beautifully written series by Tunde Leye.
Esmeralda had come to the house envisaging a full day of erotic frolicking. When she had seen the picturesque house, fairytales sprung into her head and she smiled. The lady she knew only as RC1 had completed the picture that left her salivating. With a smile, RC1 had led her into the single living space. There was a bed in the middle of the room, with white satin sheets, red rose petals scattered all over and scented candles.
“Like it?” she heard RC1 ask. She must have let out some unconscious shriek, she was certain. But she glad she had agreed to come here instead of her hotel room? In the corner, there was a raised platform. At the head of the table was an assortment of erotic toys. RC1 picked a pair of leather padded handcuffs and then patiently began to explain what they would do.
“Here’s how the day will go. You are my slave for the first half of the day. You’ll wear these handcuffs and for starters, I’ll use these leg restraints to strap you to the platform. I will be at liberty to do anything with you and you’ll have to work your way to freedom by giving me every pleasure I desire. The better you are, the quicker you’ll win your freedom from your restraints and then become the master and I the slave. Am I clear?”
Esmeralda nodded like an obedient child, enthralled by the whole arrangement. She moved towards RC1 to hug her but was rebuffed her with a shove. “Who permitted you to touch me slave?”
It took a while for it to sink into Esmeralda that they were already in the role playing game. Obediently, she backed away.
“Good girl. Now, get into the lingerie on the platform and I’ll slip the handcuffs on you and strap you on to the platform.”
Acharu arrived at the cottage and retrieved her phone. She had made up two plans in her mind, depending on which of she or Morkly arrived first. She was glad she got here before him, it was the easier scenario. She called up his text message and quickly typed a response to him, instructing him on what to do when he got there. She moved quickly after that, since she didn’t know exactly how long she had before he arrived. She dialed the number she had sent the first text message to and the lady on the other end picked it on the first ring.
“What’s up?” the lady said
“I just got here, I’m at the gate. Do you have her immobilized now?” Acharu asked.
“Yes,” the lady responded.
“Good. I’ll let myself in then. We’re going to have an extra guest at the party. The nutty professor himself is on his way. But I’ve got an appropriate welcome planned for him anyway, so that shouldn’t be an issue. Prepare the restraints for the man”.
With that, she ended the call and looked over at the sleeping man. “We’re back together, you and I, as it should have been.” Then she went down to open the gate and drove in right to the front door of the cottage.
It was a good thing he wasn’t driving otherwise he would not have been able to read the text message when it came in. “Ah, she finally got to read my text,” he mumbled to himself when he saw the ID of the sender. He opened it quickly. It was in short, terse sentences, outlining a plan.
“Got your text, great work. We’ll proceed without Senayon. Headed there with men from HQ. They’ll secure the premises while I wait for you by my car. Come Quickly”
Quickly she said. He had been in the traffic at Lekki Toll Gate for more than thirty minutes and it seemed he was only halfway through it. “Billions of blistering bumbling bickering blasted blue barnacles! And that autocrat of a governor has banned okadas. That would have been my saving grace now” he exclaimed in anger. He slumped in the chair and adjusted his neck scarf.
“Are we expecting someone?” Esmeralda ventured. She was meant to be the obedient slave, speaking only when spoken to, but if someone else was going to be involved in whatever plans her madam had for her, she thought she should know.
“Shut your dirty little mouth” the lady responded to her.
Unsure if it was merely the character of the madam that had spoken to her or the real RC1, she decided to clarify.
“I’m not asking as the slave dear, I’m asking as me. I just think I should know if…” The pain registered before her mind deciphered that RC1 had just tasered her. She found herself twitching uncontrollably.
“I said shut your husband-hopping dirty mouth!” The lady spoke calmly, but every word was loaded with menace, amplified by the fact that she was tied up, helpless. She opened her mouth, took a huge gulp of air into her lungs and screamed at the top of her voice. The lady waited for her to exhaust herself and then told her with a devilish chuckle “you can scream all you want, but I’m sure you remember how this house looked as you came in. Only the trees will hear you. You are dense, you know that? Anyway, give me a moment.”
With that, she straightened her dress, brushed her hair and went to the door.
From the hole in the fuzzy realm he was floating in, Senayon heard a familiar voice scream. The scream was like a powerful hand pulling him up at breakneck speed and he suddenly burst into the surface of the hole.
“Sumbo, where the hell are you? He’s stirring. We need to get him inside and immobilized before he wakes up fully!” Acharu shouted.
She saw her partner was all dressed up. “Vain girl” she thought, remembering the first time she had met this girl. Sumbo had been a broken girl after her breakup with Charles Obaro. She had been the strong one who helped Sumbo recover from the breakup in the self-help group they belonged to. But as if to reverse the situation, she had fed off Sumbo’s anger at men. One evening, they had watched an episode of Deadly Affairs on Crime and Investigation together and all of this Ring Collector business had started as a joke until Sumbo suddenly said “you know we can pull this off and get back at all of them that hurt us?”
Esmeralda watched in horror as the two women carried a man that looked vaguely familiar in. she couldn’t see well because of the way she was lying down. “Who is he?” she asked.
“Oww, you’ve forgotten the man you bore a child for so soon?” Sumbo asked.
“Senayon? What is this about? Answer me!” Esmeralda asked desperately struggling with her restraints.
Acharu answered this time as Sumbo prepared a syringe with the same substance she had used on their second victim. “Senayon was supposed to be mine, but you had him. Charles did to Sumbo what Fuad did to me. And you my dear did the nasty to Senayon with that pastor and then left him for the baba olowo.”
As Emeralda heard the names, she realized what was happening. These were the people responsible for all those gruesome murders she had read about on the blogs. But all their victims had been men. “So why do you want to kill Senayon then?”
“Why do you assume we want to kill Senayon?” Sumbo asked.
It dawned on Esmeralda that she was the one. She screamed again as they propped a Senayon who looked awake and perceptive but otherwise immobile up against the wall.
“Senayon is the Ring Maker. He’s the fulcrum of all this. He should have fought harder for me, but wasn’t man enough. It was his failure that created me as the Ring Collector. You know, after collecting and destroying all your rings, like the Lord of the Rings, I have to destroy the Ring Maker. So he is here to see the last ring collected and then be destroyed. If I can’t have him, then he shouldn’t be alive.” Acharu said, with Sumbo nodding in agreement at the eerie and illogical logic she just espoused.
Acharu’s phone beeped. Morkly’s text message came in.
“Delayed at toll gate. Now past it and should be there shortly”
“Nutty prof is almost here. Let me go and roll out the carpets. Take this and shoot into the air when you get my text” Acharu said as she handed a pistol over to Sumbo along with a police two way communicator.
In the corner, Senayon watched all, and heard all. His mind was still very active, but his body didn’t move. He recalled reading of such a drug being used by the Ring Collector in Fuad’s murder.
Acharu took a crouching position beside her car the moment she saw Morkly’s cab pull into the close and quickly sent Sumbo the text.
Morkly was wondering why Acharu was crouched like that when he began to hear the gunshots. He quickly pulled his gun and rolled on the floor to her side as his taxi man sped away without waiting to collect his money. Suddenly, the gunshots stopped. Acharu’s communicator crackled and she reached into the car for it, maintaining her cover. She returned with a smile on her face.
“They’ve got her!” Morkly exclaimed in excitement without waiting to be told. He sprang up and wanted to race into the house but Acharu held him back.
“Cautious approach sir,” she said. “we don’t know if she’s alone or has someone crouching somewhere waiting.” Morkly didn’t know how true that statement was but he calmed down and approached the gate cautiously.
When he entered, he expected to see policemen in position. When he didn’t see anyone, he turned back to tell Acharu something was wrong. She had a gun pointing at him. “Drop your weapon,” she ordered.
“Acharu, what Iscariotish behavior is this?” Morkly asked.
“Drop the damned weapon or I’ll blow a hole through you right here,” she responded.
Morkly saw she was serious. He slowly dropped the pistol on the soft grass by the side of the walkway.
“Now, turn around and walk towards the cottage.”
Acharu observed the look of shock on Morkly’s face when he got into the room.
“Yes mister professor, that’s how we outsmarted you. You were looking for one Ring Collector, when in fact, there were two. I collected Charles, she collected Fuad. I collected the pastor and now she is collecting Esmeralda. We will then both destroy the Ring Maker. You, you are just collateral damage. You should not have been able to figure this out, but then again, you were always too smart for your own good.”
With that, they cuffed him to one of the legs of the platform Esmeralda was on. Then, amidst heart-wrenching screams from Esmeralda, Sumbo set about taking her head off as Senayon and Morkly watched in horror.
When she was done, she carefully placed the head on the navel and then took pictures of the gory sight with a phone she pulled out of her tool bag. She tweeted the images and put the hashtags
#ongoingevent #finalringcollection #ringmakergoingdown and then tagged all the people she knew would spread the word on twitter. When she was done, she turned to Acharu and bowed “Final Ring Collection Completed.”
Acharu went forward to look at Esmeralda’s now lifeless body. When they had started, Sumbo had been the queasy one. They were originally meant to start with Fuad, since her own relationship with Fuad was relatively unknown. But because Sumbo wasn’t sure she could go through with such a gruesome killing, they had swapped and Acharu had gone after Charles first. Now, watching how Sumbo finished Esmeralda off, she realized that the girl had come a long way. Suddenly, she felt a pain shoot through her body. She crumpled to the ground wondering “what tha fuck”
When she came to, Acharu found herself cuffed to the leg of the platform where Morkly had been before. Sumbo and Morkly were standing over her, while drug immobilized Senayon stared at her unable to move. “What is happening here?” she asked, directing her gaze to Sumbo.
“Why did we collect rings?” Sumbo asked back. When Acharu didn’t answer, she continued. “Because they don’t know what being faithful to the people they love means. They callously leave people that loved them. Now, think about it. Aren’t you being hypocritical here? Who better fits this description but you? You left Senayon for Morkly, left Morkly when he had his troubles and have been using men to climb since. You are just as bad as all the others, if not worse cos you’re a hypocrite.”
“Morkly?” Acharu said, directing her gaze at him.
“I knew all along. You see, I suggested this whole business to Sumbo. Think about it. Who approached who in your self-help group? Who reached out more? Who suggested that you guys embark on this killing spree after you guys watched that Crime and Investigation show that day? Now that you think about it, it’s Sumbo, right?”
Acharu closed her eyes, hit with the realization that Morkly was right. In spite of Sumbo’s seeming reluctance to go along with the killing initially, she had been the one suggesting everything, the plans, the methods, everything all along.
“Sumbo saw through your hypocrisy dear Acharu. You tried to use her but we have ended up using you. You remember the only chance for me to be saved from going to that mad people’s home was your testimony. And rather than give the testimony and save me, you took the deal the police command offered you and refused to testify. You played the good lover for a while but got tired of visiting me. You see, I knew, and I did not forget.” Morkly said.
“But how do you know each other? How?” Acharu asked hysterically.
“Social media has made the world a very small place dear. It isn’t very farfetched that a disillusioned nearly mad professor will meet a popular and disillusioned social media personality. That’s all I’ll tell you about this. Now, remember how you turned away and let me go and run mad in a psychiatric home? I’m about to repay you by turning away now, literarily. Sumbo?”
As he called her, Sumbo walked over to Acharu with the still bloody saw she had used on Esmeralda. As Acharu began to scream, Morkly turned away.
Sumbo finally did what she had wanted to do since the beginning. She hated Acharu’s guts. Acharu represented all the reasons men gave to justify cheating on women and treating them badly. To cap it all, she saw herself through rose-tinted glasses and blamed everyone else for what her irresponsibility with men brought on her. Stupid fool. She killed with even more viciousness than she had done with her two other victims. The only person she would have killed with more venom was Charles but she didn’t get that chance. She was so engrossed that she didn’t hear a thing. It was only when she was done and Acharu lay in a pool of blood that she turned around and got a shocker. Senayon was standing on his feet alongside Morkly and they both had pistols trained on her.
“Morkly, what the hell is going on?” she asked calmly.
“Collateral damage is inevitable in the best worked plans. You my dear are collateral damage in our plan,” he responded.
“What do you mean OUR plan? The only OUR plan is the one you and I have mister, and it doesn’t involve you and Senayon pointing guns at me,” she said.
“Ah, you assume. You see, the plan was to get these two women without killing them ourselves.” Morkly said.
“How did you break free from the effects of the drug? You are supposed to be able to see and feel without being able to move. How come?”
“Antidote dear, brought in and administered by the professor,” Senayon responded. Then turning to Morkly, he said “We got them both. Now, shall we destroy the evidence?”
With that, they shot Sumbo.