Cecil made them crouch in the bush and observe the house. Despite the hum of the generator, which was coming somewhere from the back, they could hear male voices coming from close to the front door, obviously the sitting room.
The house was an old, sprawling, colonial type of building, built with the idea of a large family in mind. It was simply built as houses usually were built in those times and it was falling apart. The front veranda was raised and one had to climb about four steps to get to the door; two windows with louvres guarded both sides of the door.
Cecil scanned the side of the house and saw that only the front windows had the louvres, the rest of the house that she could see, maintained the original wooden windows that came with it.
She knew it was the original wooden windows because despite the night, when she made her way to the side of the house, she could perceive the dust of termite eaten wood and when she flashed her torchlight with her palm over it, she found the wood was indeed disintegrating.
Eddy went with her to circumvent the house, while the ladies waited, crouched in the bush. When they returned, they waved the women out and to the side of the house.
“The generator has a full tank,” Cecil whispered the information, “There is an open window on the other side of the house, I peeped in, it has no light and it smells dank, like nobody ever uses it.”
“It’s a big house and it has many rooms but from what we could observe, not all the rooms have windows. I’m betting they have the men locked up in one of those windowless rooms, I would do the same, and not worry about an escape attempt.”
Eddy nodded in agreement, “We need someone entering through that window on the other side, we’ll need two sentries on each side of the house, at least the side with windows,” Eddy took a deep breath as though what she had to say was difficult.
“We need someone to knock on the front door,” the women gasped, “It’s another form of distraction, we can’t depend on the turning off of the generator alone,” Cecil explained in a whisper.
The other four women looked at themselves, wondering who would make the front door.
Wana had never been patient in tense situations, she huffed impatiently, “Just direct us and we’ll do what has to be done,” she whispered nervously.
Cecil took a deep breath, turning to catch Eddy’s worried gaze and then whispered, “Abigail,” the lady whimpered at her name, “I’m sorry, but you’ll be the one to enter through that window, that part of house seems unused, so there’s no risk of meeting anybody. All you have to do is make your way in the dark and try to find a locked room, where they might have put the men…”
“Wana and Debbie, you’ll take sentry on both sides, more like what Alero did at the school,” Eddy explained and then turned sadly to Stacey who was almost panting at this point in terror.
Her eyes widened in her round, wire rimmed glasses as Eddy faced her.
“We need you to make the front door,” Eddy said solemnly.
“But why?” she gushed in a pained whisper.
“Because you’re the youngest and most alluring among us,” Cecil said.
“And the glasses makes you look naïve, innocent, beautiful and men, they do stupid things when they think they can mess with a woman,” Eddy added.
Wana touched her shoulder and squeezed, “You can do this Stace, I’d never thought I’d have taken out a criminal from the back but you saw us do that this night,” she encouraged and Stacey nodded even though her breath had become choppy from the fear lodged in her throat.
“What do I have to do?” she whispered in a tremulous voice.
“Eddy is going to turn off the fuel supply to the generator after Abigail must have climbed in through the window. You’ll wait behind the old man’s car. When the generator goes off, it would take at least, less than a minute for someone to come check it out,” Cecil explained urgently.
“Watch out for the light reflection from the louvres, and see when the light comes on again. Immediately it does, walk up to the door as casually as possible, hum a song if you can, but make sure they hear you coming and then knock.”
“The idea is to distract them from realizing their guy isn’t back from the generator. You won’t talk for long, just widen your eyes fearfully and say you’re looking for Dee,” Cecil concluded.
Stacey frowned, “Dee, who’s Dee?” even the other women looked like they wanted to know who Dee was.
Cecil smiled, “That’s the distraction. While they figure out who Dee is, Eddy would have entered from the back, and don’t worry, sweetheart, I’ll be right there with you…just hiding by the veranda, they won’t do anything to you,” she assured.
“What if they do?” Stacey looked close to tears.
“Take,” Eddy handed over her Glock and ignored Wana’s audible snort.
But Stacey was looking at it as though it would bite. “Don’t worry, it’s just to boost courage, at least, you’ll know you have something to protect yourself,” Eddy said while stuffing the semi-automatic pistol in the back of Stacey’s jeans and covering it with her t-shirt.
Stacey swallowed and nodded, trying to take deep breaths and almost wheezing in her effort. The women watched as she returned into the bush, made her way back until she was leveled with the old man’s Audi.
She made her way to the edge of the bush, looked out but only saw the women watching her from the side of the house on her left. She took a deep breath and then ran low until she squatted behind the car. She pulled off the crested DSS vest and waved once to show she was okay.
Cecil sighed and herded the other women to their positions, Debbie remained on the side they’d been standing and Wana was led to the other side, where Cecil helped boost Abigail into the dank room.
Then it was time, Cecil returned to the side of the veranda, she pulled on her cropped leather gloves, the type that left the fingers open but protected the palms from sweat and enhanced grip on the gun, before she cocked her IMI TAR-21and took a ready stance.
Eddy went to the humming generator and with her torchlight she found the fuel tap and turned it off. It took more than a minute for the generator to start spurting and jerking, a universal sign that the fuel was finishing; when the jerking began, she hurriedly pulled her cropped leather gloves too.
She imagined the light bulbs in the house fluctuating sporadically as the generator jerked and jerked and jerked, then it steadied as though it was okay, then it suddenly died with a violent cough.
The sudden silence was deafening, Eddy hurried from her hiding place and turned on the fuel tap again. Quickly, she returned to flatten herself in the recess of an extended wall just as the back door opened and a guy grumbled about just putting fuel in the generator.
Eddy took silent, deep breaths as he looked over the generator with the torch light on his phone. He touched the wire connection, made sure to put it in well, checked the fuel tap and then pulled the cord to start the generator.
The machine sputtered once and then hummed normally, “So, what happened?” the guy muttered to himself and was about to return to the house when Eddy emerged from her hiding place.
“Hey,” she called out softly.
Startling, he turned; using his momentary shock, Eddy kicked him at that ‘vulnerable spot’ in between his legs. With a painful grunt he doubled over, and she slammed her knee into his face sending him to his knees.
Immediately, she did her favorite martial art move, the first thing that Slay had ever taught her; she pinched the guy’s carotid arteries; nerves located on both sides of his neck. She pulled and applied pressure, watching as he lost consciousness.
Without catching a breath, she started dragging him into the bush when she heard approaching footsteps from the house.
“Tujay, you carry lighter?” the approaching guy called out and Eddy’s pulse raced impossibly faster.
She dropped the unconscious guy, her mind working fast, she knew she had to put this other guy down too.
Eddy hurried to the side of the house, where the guy would surely come out from. He was tall and clearly shocked when Eddy silently appeared before him.
He’d been about to say something but with lightening speed she punched him hard in his throat. He hadn’t seen it coming; the cigarette dangling from his lips fell off. He gurgled, struggling to breathe; both his hands held his throat as though that would help him breathe.
She gave him no chance, she gripped his carotid arteries, pulled and applied pressure, he lost consciousness faster than his friend, probably because his throat had been closed off by that punch.
His weight fell on her and she grunted, dragging him to where his friend lay. She heard the sudden silence from the house and knew Stacey had probably knocked on the door,
There was no time to tie them up, she raced to the side of the house that Wana stood sentry and signaled her over.
“What?” she asked fearfully since this hadn’t been in the plan, her hand continually flexing on the handle of the machete.
“Cut down the cloths lines and tie up these guys. I don’t have time to do it, Stacey already knocked on the door, I’ll call Debbie over,” she said hurrying by the unconscious men to the side to signal Debbie too.
Wana cut down the cloths line with one swing of the machete each. By the time Debbie had been apprised of the situation, she was already rolling the second guy to his stomach and rounding his wrist behind his back with one of the ropes.
Eddy nodded, swung her IMI TAR-21to the front and padded silently on her flat shoes into the house just as she heard the echo of a sharply pulled back door bolt in the suddenly silent house.
She followed the sound and then the gruff voice; “Who are you?” he barked.
Standing by that back door, the generator humming through the slightly opened door, her chest hurting from panting and the heavy hammering of her heart, Eddy looked left and right.
The house was indeed big.
“I…my name is Stacey and I’m looking for Dee,” she heard Stacey’s tumultuous voice and knew the girl was terrified out of her mind.
The back door opened into a T passage. The one directly in front of the back door led to the reflection of yellow light she was seeing from another passage; that passage definitely led to the sitting room.
The long passage from the left side to the right, obviously led to other parts of the house, where their husbands were held prisoner; that side was for Abigail to figure out.
Moving silently, she made her way towards the reflection of dull, yellow light.
DUCT SEASON 4 continues
Your comments bring out the beauty in our stories. Have your say in the comment box below. To share our story, click on the Facebook share button or on the twitter button.
Follow our twitter handle @lagosconvo