I looked up in horror. The alarms went off in my head causing nausea to envelope me. The room began to spin. I willed my mind not to think, not to process any of the new information it had just gotten. Good sense told me to close the binder and walk away. I obeyed, returned it to the original state and stood up from the bed, making sure I straightened out the dimple my weight had caused. In the distance the beagle sounded calling for an activity of some sort. I was uninterested, distracted. My eyes remained trained on the terrible world in my hand. I heard my name, the words on these pages beckoned to me. I smiled, again.
These are the notes of McCallugen Kam Timothy.
I heard the sound of the beagle again, this time a little more incessant and urgent. Half-wondering why it was non-stop and what activity it was calling for, I sat down again on the same spot and un-wrapped my new found toy.
All Saints Prison kept a tight rooster on the activities of its inmates. At 5.15am everyone must be out of the cells and jogging round the premises. Unfortunately for the heavy sleepers, this was compulsory, deadly compulsory. At 6am sharp breakfast was served in the hall. The doors to the hall close at 6.25am. If you arrive at 6.26, you are late. The time table was stringent, hardly allowing any idle time.
The janitor remembered his first week at All Saints. It was gruesome, to say the least. At some point he felt just like the rail tracks supporting the fast moving trains. He begged to die every day but death stayed at his side every day, mocking him. The thorns of the beagle sound pricked his sanity so hard he feared it might burst. Quitting was the next natural option. It was that particular encounter, the one he had tagged ‘miraculous’, that had caused him to stay.
The sound of commotion brought him to his senses. The janitor walked to the large cell gate and peered out, wondering if his heinous crime had been discovered. He chuckled to himself as he imagined the guards placing handcuffs around his wrists and leading him to the slaughter house. His mother would have a heart attack. He glanced back at the bed, at the notes and his smile disappeared. Suddenly, all that mattered to him was to delve into the maze of the greatest assassin in Nigeria’s mind.
He read on.
McCallugen was a young man now. The janitor laughed out loud at some of the entrants in the note. Who knew an assassin would have natural problems like licking ice-cream. He shuddered at the bloodshed on other pages. Asides from the gore, McCallugen seemed to be a nice man. He could easily have been a banker given different circumstances.
A sad banker.
The janitor could relate to that. He understood the loneliness that smeared the path of McCallugen. He knew a loner was not necessarily a man who loved solitude or soliloquys. With first-hand knowledge, he understood that loneliness was oftentimes borne out of difference; difference from the normal crowd, difference from every other person. The more he felt lonely, the more he chose to be by himself. It was a cruel blow dealt him by life. McCallugen was his brother in this context.
Sitting in the dark abyss of his mind, he reached out to McCallugen. They walked hand-in-hand in the still noise around them. The bright lights quickly converted to black darkness. The tears rolled down the janitors face as he accepted that fate had pitched him in the confines of obscurity. Ah – he had artfully dodged the arrow of destiny. Now he had a friend.
Too bad he couldn’t relate to this friend in reality. He did not think he would have the eloquence to articulate, in fine terms, how deeply connected they were. He strongly doubted if his tongue would wag to the tune of his mind. Nice score, fate.
From McCallugen’s notes, the janitor saw his soul. Via his words, the janitor looked through his eyes. His mode of conveying the message was illiterate, but a soul message could never be obfuscated. The janitor saw a regular man who had become an assassin out of necessity. The atoms of life, feeding, clothing and sheltering, had been effectively managed by the application of McCallugen’s skillset. The janitor mused on how the other regulars would view McCallugen’s regular life as irregular, derailed by the fallacy of conformity.
As he read on, the line dividing good and evil began to blur. The janitor had stepped into a world of evil and disturbingly, he loved it. Love, such a strong word – he appreciated it. Amongst the callous souls that took the lives of other men and women brutally, he found solace. He felt like them. You do a thing to survive the vicissitudes of life until it becomes a habit, then your values change to accommodate this new habit so that the inner turmoil might be laid to bed.
He walked with McCallugen as he dispatched his assignments with both cold mercilessness and extreme viciousness. He hugged McCallugen when he bowed down to the pressure of the numerous souls screaming for his in seoul. He screamed out loud at McCallugen when he killed with no regards. “If you must kill, kill right!” the janitor would scream into the empty cell.
One account told of how McCallugen had crept up on two armed body guards of a Senator in Enugu who were deep in conversation. In one fell swoop he beheaded the both of them and in his notes he swore that for a brief moment their heads kept on speaking. The brain receives no trauma from a clean decapitation and may continue to function until blood loss causes unconsciousness and death.
The beagle had not stopped ringing for a while. It pierced the air with the vigour of an injured animal escaping its pursuers. The janitor knew something was wrong. In all his years no abnormality such as this had ever occurred in wonderland. As he made up his mind to close the binder his eyes locked on the name Hangu the Manimal. His eyes bulged. He couldn’t stop now, not when he was about to step into the historical arena and witness, front row seat, the world renowned fight between the two gladiators, McCallugen Kam Timothy and Hangu the Manimal.
Heaving a sigh of deep anticipation, the janitor read, slowly as not to miss any hidden detail.
I am tired. Hangu too. I know this is fight to die. Hangu in black book for long time. Only me can kill him for organisation. I told by organisation that I rest if I kill Hangu. I told I take vacation. I need vacation. I need to kill Hangu. I big man. But Hangu BIG MAN. We are both bend down. We have fight this great battle for about 1hr now. Blood on my body everywhere from many wound. I dizzy. I know Hangu tough but I no know he tough like this. I don’t know where wound is. My body paining me like train hit me. Hangu has blood on body too. I see room from side eye. People everywhere watching us. Nobody say anything, no sound from anywhere, all of them afraid. They know they see battle of life. Me and Hangu look at end of the room. The gun is there. On floor. One bullet. First to reach it. Life. Second to reach it. Death. We no breath. Silence. The silence very thick, I can even hold it. And then Hangu move like lightening. He run. He try to weave as he run. I use skill and dive and hold his leg. I bring Hangu down and jump on him, I hit his back with two fist. He scream. I turn him over and drop knee on his chest. 5 quick powerful fist blows. Right. Left. Right. Left. Right. I see two teeth fly. Hangu face swollen. Hangu block my 6 blow and blow my stomach. He hold my head, bring it down and headbutt me. Then he push me away. As I fall he lay kick on my stomach from floor. Blood leave my mouth. He stand and try run again. I use leg to sweep him to the ground. We hurry and stand up together but I rush him first. I know Muay Thai well plus other martial arts. I jump high and use knee to smash Hangu face. I kick the inside of his knee and punch his face. I raise hand high to use sharp elbow to smash Hangu back when he lift me up in the air. I am tired more than Hangu so he throw me easily on floor. He jump on me and use my head to hit ground 2 times. Hangu hold my head with one hand and punch me with other hand. He punch me till I can’t count. I feel like death already. As Hangu stand from me I try to kick him but I weak so he kick me first on my rib. My rib crack. I scream and fall. When I look up again Hangu about to bend down to pick gun. I know that if I don’t move now Hangu kill me. I forget pain and close mind. I run fast, slide and catch Hangu hand as he turn around. I try to bend Hangu hand to face him. Hangu try to bend hand to shoot me. We struggle. Power for Power. But my power small because I am tired. But I tell myself I cannot die. I have vacation to go. I want to go to beanch. I want to enjoy money. I have suffer too much in this life not to enjoy too much. I jump and kick Hangu, he dodge and point gun at me. I react immediately and dodge under Hangu hand. Hangu hand come down and close to me. I see the end. I about to lose hope. Hangu will shoot and kill me now – and then all of a sudden I remember joke amongst assassins – joke about how one woman save self when huge man hold her…joke stupid but might save me, I think. So I go forward and I do what man don’t do. I kiss Hangu. On mouth. Hangu shock. I feel Hangu power on hand reduce. Immediately I move swift. I blow Hangu rib with all my power. I know it crack. I bend his hand and I put gun in his mouth and I…
The cell suddenly darkened. The air became unbearably heavy. The janitor froze; he knew something was terribly wrong. The beagle had not stopped and this time he could hear shouts and hurried voices in the distance. Cold beads of sweat immediately covered his whole body and his breathing became laboured. The only source of light was from the entrance of the cell and if the light was out it meant the entrance was blocked.
This presence, this aura.
He had never felt anything like this before. He wasn’t a dumb man, he knew what this meant. He pieced it all together; the morning’s proposed execution, the non-stop noise from the beagle and the darkening of the cell. Fear had fled from his side, leaving in his wake Death and the shakes. Slowly he raised his lead-heavy head. His brain retreated into its shell as his eyes locked with that of McCallugen Kam Timothy!!!
The janitor pissed himself.
check out other Episodes here