SHORT STORIES

Wheels Of Horror

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I barely got home from work when my boss called me back to the office. I was very pissed and grumpy to say the least. -I hate to drive all the way back to the office again so I decided to catch a cab instead.

I angrily grabbed my handbag and stormed out of the house but as soon as I crossed the road to hail down a taxi, it suddenly dawned on me how late and dark it was- I could hear that little voice in my head saying: Anything could happen under the cover of darkness. Somehow,all the sad tales I have heard over the years with this kind of transportation took over my entire being and it sent chills running down my spine.

Fresh on my mind was what happened to my own younger sister during the last quarter of her service year in Lagos state.

She was practically abducted after boarding a taxi at the close of work from the venue of her primary assignment. To cut a long story short, she was almost strangled, robbed and factually shoved off the car like dirt when they believed her to be dead.

In her own words, “my life flashed before my eyes and I could not do anything about it.That close call with death won’t be forgotten in this lifetime or the next”.

My body was covered in goose pimple as I recalled that horrible event; fear gripped me as a taxi halted in front of me. I found myself stuttering as I nervously reeled out my office address and negotiated the fare. My gaze steadily fixed on the taxi as if I could detect any evil in it.

Not satisfied, I told the driver-“Oga come open your boot o! You know say time bad now o!”He laughed and did as I said. I felt much better and was about to sit down when he said to me, Aunty e’ be like say you go open your bag make I see wetin dey inside.

Now it was my turn to laugh I asked him amidst laughter “Sho! Wetin fit dey my bag nah!” He told me haba! You tink say na only passenger dey fear, driver dey fear too. What if as I’m driving you now, you comot gun chuk my head, come divert me go where man pikin fit kpeme nko?

I was really surprised, I asked him me? Pointing to myself I’m just a girl I said.  He replied hmmm! na una worse sef ! if I tell you wetin I don carry my eyes see korokoro for una hand , you go pity me!

I told him not to worry and immediately opened my bag for him to see, showed him my I.D card and told him I wouldn’t mind hearing some of those stories!

You see, he continued just like HIV, E no dey show for face, na so I carry one pretty young girl one night .she say she dey go meet her boyfriend for office but as we approach the place, her phone come ring and when she finish answering the call, she told me to divert to one bar say the boyfriend don leave office.

We renegotiated the fare and as I come slow down do u-turn to carry am go the new place na him the door come open and one guy just jump enter. Immediately the girl come comot gun chuk for my head.

The guy come tell me say make I bring out all the money wey I make or else the girl go shoot me Like joke like joke, they rob me of my money, my phone, and my wedding ring.  After that, they come say make I drop them for another place and when we reach there. The guy first comot go puncture my tyre while the girl still point the gun for my head.

Small time, another car stop for our back as I wan turn look, the girl hit the gun for my head before they enter the other car come zoom off.

Before I could even register my surprise he continued Onetime again, I carry one girl and one Alhaji and they asked me to take them to a hotel and also to wait for them.

On reaching there, I noticed that the Alhaji was a bit weak because the girl asked me to help them out and then she paid me off and told me to go. But I still remember say the Alhaji been say make I wait. But as I no wan argue with the girl na him I come go.

I  decided to cross the road and eat at the joint nearby, thinking maybe if they come out, I fit carry them back when I notice say the girl come out with the Alhaji’s suitcase come enter another car her drive comot .

Somehow I know say something dey wrong, Na him I go ask the front desk officer about the alhaji wey I bring come .They call him room tire no answer, na him they enter come see say the man just dey naked for bed and him no fit talk. They call police take am go hospital but two days later, he died.

I enter police wahala for almost a year.You know how the system be, he sneered.

I was lost in thoughts of what could have happened?

How did a girl overpower a man like that?

The driver said the hospital claimed the man died of a heart attack but he vehemently pointed out that he is very sure that the girl injected him with something deadly while in the taxi. But then, he quickly chipped in, “It was very dark and I could not really see much.”

Maybe she drugged him so she could make away with his money or whatever was in the briefcase I replied.

This and many more thoughts severely thwacked at me as we got to my stop. I made to alight but my knees were very weak.

I barely could walk from all that horror- in my hurry to get out of the car; I forgot to pay him.

If only he knew what was going on in my head right now.

He called after me, “Aunty the story na free of charge but you go pay for the ride o.” I apologised and paid him. His humour brought a smile to my face until he whispered:

“Bad belle people full ground dey wait o!”

Anyhow sha! God dey

His Bye bye echoed after him as he sped off leaving me rooted to the ground.

The gate man whom I had called earlier to inform I was coming back to work opened the gate and was a bit angry that I was delaying to enter. Talk about – that awkward moment when you hear something that kills you inside, but you just have to act like you are fine.

I murmured a greeting and went in to tackle what brought me back to work in the first place.

Immediately I finished with the task at hand, I knew within my spirit, soul and body that I didn’t want to take that risk of going home in a taxi that night- I had heard enough horror for one day.

No matter how much he played it down saying drivers are at risk also,I know, that most of the time, the man who should be feared, is the man behind the wheels.

Just as the driver rightly said,”Bad belle people full ground they wait” and truth be told, at this point, I was not enthusiastically strong enough to brave the road with a complete stranger.

Last option: I called hubby and sweet talked him into coming to convey me back home with a promise of dinner at one of our favourite eat outs.

Besides, I badly need to shake off this blanket of fear weighing my mind down so desperately.

The night called for a little liquid courage to say the least!

As the year winds up, don’t forget that your life is the most significant thing you possess!

Guard it enviously!!

Stay safe!!!

Vivian Belford is a lover of God and all the good things life can offer, a girly girl who believes in having fun with whatever she does. She is currently starring in her own reality show titled, Living and Dying With a Smile! Her Mantra: *Put on some lip gloss,pour yourself a drink, sit back and have a really good laugh!* The world is one big comedy afterall!!!!