Beating The Odds – Episode 18
© Brian Ngoma
Meticulously, Cayn tiptoed to the drivers door of the Mukobeko Bus. He reached and as planned, the driver was taking a leak. The bus was in between two other vehicles in the parking lot and it wasn’t difficulty to take cover. He looked around and was sure there was no one around. He knelt down and rolled under the bus. His heart was pounding very fast but the mission itself was greater than his nerves. He checked his watch and it was 9:46 am. He plugged the nano ear bud he was to use to communicate with Sky. He turned it on and asked, “Sky are you there?”
“Yes Boss,” she answered, “Just getting comfortable, this toilet is a mess. As if it’s not the lady’s.”
“Stay focused,” he moved his face away from the oil drops. “It’s 9:47, she should be on her way.”
“The door just opened Boss, later,” Sky said clenching her fists. “Must be her.”
“Don’t take a lot of time in there!” a male voice shouted followed by the slamming of the door.
Sky refrained from making any sound as she studied the light footsteps. She heard a hum and the footsteps slowly faded. The stall next to her opened. She silently stood up keeping her ears as sharp as possible. A moment later, a woman started crying. Sky knew her target was in. “Be strong sister!” She said.
The woman suddenly went quiet as she heard Sky’s voice. She thought she was alone and there she was pouring her heart out. Embarrassed, she said. “I’m sorry.”
Sky couldn’t help it but notice the quavery tone in her voice. “No shame in crying sister,” she said opening the stall door.
The woman opened hers aswell and found Sky standing just outside her stall. She handed her a tissue.
“Life sentence,” she nodded her head wiping the salty stained tears on her cheeks.
Sky looked at her time and it was 9:55am. She walked away from the woman and went to the mirror. “You will manage don’t you worry, come wash your face. That voice i heard outside is no friendly at all.”
The woman drew closer to the mirror while Sky stepped backwards. As the woman bent down to wash her hands and face, Sky quickly grabbed her from the back wrapping her right hand in the womans neck. She wanted to scream but Sky was too fast for her. She covered the woman’s face with a Chloroform filled cloth rendering her unconscious. Easy Easy, sleep now,” she said letting go of her.
She dragged her to the last stall and unclothed her. She quickly took her clothes off and put them on. As she was putting on the canvas of the woman, the main toilet door busted open. Sky’s heart stopped.
“It’s been over 15 minutes minutes now, what are you doing?” an angry male voice shouted followed by loud thuds on the floor.
“I am done sorry,” Sky quickly got out of the stall closing the door behind her.
“What were you doing huh?” the guard walked to Sky looking at her suspiciously.
Her face was bowed down. “I was crying, i needed to get some things off my chest” she said.
The guard laughed. “Crying from here, wait and see what awaits you at the the prison, now move along, Women!” he nodded his head and pushed her.
She walked past him carefully avoiding his eye contact. He didn’t notice that, that wasn’t the woman who had earlier entered the ladies room. Sky had outdone herself; In a few minutes, she had managed to exactly look like a lady and thanks to Cayn who found out out about the young convict, Sky’s hair was already messed up as the young lady. Aware that she had fooled him, she smiled walking out of the ladies room. The guard was walking behind her at a distance. She whispered, “Done.”
Cayn dragged the drivers [email protected] body to a trash bin which he had people put earlier and cautiously stashed it in. It was easy to take down the driver. All he did was grab his legs sending him to the ground and quickly pulled him under the car. Confused, the driver was trying to make sense of what had just happened when he received a blow on his face which came at lightning speed and knocked him out cold. Cayn heard Sky’s message and knew she was coming with the guard in no time. He made a call to one of his men to tell them to take care of the bodies of the lady and the driver till the whole mission was done. He sprinted to the bus and got in. He made himself comfortable and moved the rear view mirror so that his two passengers couldn’t see him. He saw from the passengers side mirror the guard and Sky walking towards the bus. He only had to hope that the driver and the guard weren’t friends.
The door was opened and Sky entered. She sat and the guard entered. As soon as he entered, he turned his eyes to Cayn. Cain stiffened in his seat. If anything was to go wrong at this moment, he and Sky had planned to take down the guard.
“New driver?” the guard asked taking a seat.
Cayn kept his composure and answered, “Yes, first job.”
“Well that’s good, i didn’t like that other one,” the guard said sitting down. “Take us to Mukobeko to this sluts new home, i hope you know the place,” he laughed.
Cayn smiled and started the bus. He saw Sky from the rear view mirror with her head bowed down. He didn’t know what he could have done without her. He started the bus and off he drove out of Lusaka. When they reached Chisamba. The car broke down. He told the guard that he would work on it. The guard was upset venting his frustration for the government to him. “You know this car has been working since the 90s and no one thinks of replacing it. I’m sick and tired of all this. The current government is total s*** i tell you,” he said. “Let me call headquarters and tell them about this.”
Cayn worked on the bus for almost four hours. The guard became furious even more when headquarters told him they couldn’t send another car for just one female inmate. He was told to find other means. Just as he was about to call the prison, Cayn told him he was done. How glad he was. He sprinted and entered the bus. Cayn also packed everything and walked to the wheel. He saw Sky through the mirror smiling. He smiled too. The bus didn’t have any breakdown, they were delaying time. Their plan was to reach Mukobeko medium prison late.
They reached the prison around 5pm. Two guards carefully searched and inspected it. Cayn wondered why the bus was been checked because according to his sources, it wasn’t going to undergo any normal procedure. His heart started pounding really fast. He heard a knock on the drivers window. He looked at Sky from the rear view mirror and she could see he was nervous. Something was wrong, she thought.
“New driver?” the guard asked as Cayn rolled down the window.
“Yes,” he answered nervously.
“We were not told. Chilundu!” he called the other guard. “Know anything about a New Driver?”
Cayn was questioning his plans. Was he too quick to act on them? Perhaps, he needed more time, he thought. What would happen if he gets caught? There was something he could do. He reached for his fake I.d and handed it over to the guard. “That’s my I.D.”
The other guard joined. He looked at Cayn suspiciously and back to the I.D which his colleague was holding. “Go and make a call.”
“What’s happening here?” a tall dark slender man with a uniform emerged from the gate.
“We just want to confirm,” the first guard answered. “Driver said he’s new but we haven’t received any information regarding a new driver.”
Cayn identified the man and his heart was at ease. He watched him walk to where the two guards were standing and got the I.D from them. “Yes, he’s the new driver,.. I was told the other one got sick, let them in,” he said looking at Cayn.
The gate was opened for them and Cayn drove in. As he parked the bus he felt cold. Memories flashed back from eleven years ago. This place had become a nightmare to him. On most nights, he would dream he was in this hell hole and that freaked him out but he never told anyone.
“Stand up inmate!” the guard they had come with shouted at Sky. “Coming?” he looked at Cayn.
“Just a minute,” he unwrapped his seatbelt taking a long breath. This was it, they had managed to get in. He got off the bus and looked to his West, the sun was setting. He had planned articulately. He knew the Warden, Human resource manager and other lazy important officers won’t be in till the following day. “So this is it,” he said approaching Sky and the guard.
“Yes, this is the medium security prison,” the guard dragged Sky.
Cayn followed behind as he studied the place. There were no inmates around. He figured by that time, they probably were having their dinner. They reached the collection reception and found a female officer busy playing with her phone. As soon as she saw them, she put the phone on the desk and stood up. “Late comer, what happened?” she asked looking at Cayn.
“We had a breakdown and called in headquarters, they just said that we should work on it. Imagine ayi!” the frustrated guard sighed.
“That’s the Zambian police,” the female officer laughed. “Whose our new friend here? I don’t suppose he’s also an inmate,” she looked at Cayn with interest.
“New driver,” Cayn smiled. “I hope I’m not intruding but i talked to my friend here,” he pointed at the guard. “He told me i can spend the night here because i don’t have anywhere to spend the night at. It’s late and i have to talk with the warden tomorrow.”
“Suit yourself, this place is crawling with bugs though, ” she turned to Sky. “This one has to wait, the processing officer has knocked off.”
Sky laughed. They all looked at her.
“What is it?” the female officer asked.
“I guess you are the big bug,” she chuckled.
The female officer furiously slapped Sky across her face while Cayn and The guard watched in bewilderment.
“Say that again Bitc…..!”
“Ohh Ladies!” the guard stepped in.
Sky didn’t move an inch. “Big bug!” she said again.
The female officer wanted to charge towards her but was restrained by the guard. Cayn acted like he didn’t know what was happening. He was waiting for what the female officer was going to say next.
“She’s very stupid. Showing Attitude when she’s just got here!” she yelled. “She needs to spend 5 days with the Wasted. That place hasn’t been cleaned for a month now. I guess we have a new janitor.”
Sky was taken away after she had a change of clothes. Cayn was happy that he’s plan was falling to place. He remained at the reception with the guard he came with. Some minutes later, the female officer joined them and they started chatting. Cayn noticed the way the female officer was looking at him. He knew she had taken a liking in him but she somehow disgusted him though he didn’t show it.
“Where is everyone?” the guard asked.
“A lot working day have knocked off but those in night are here. Just playing around as usual. These people take this place for granted.”
“You can’t blame them, the government doesn’t pay them according to the work they put in,” Cayn joined in.
She looked at him and smiled. “True. I can’t wait for the next elections, we are voting this government out.”
The two men laughed. Cayn looked at his watch and it was 8:44pm. He knew Sky was probably making plans to get out of the cell. He was growing impatient and these two bugged him.
“Does anyone know what has happened to the Wifi?” another officer asked entering the reception.
“I.T says the whole system is down till tomorrow,” the female officer answered. “Even the Ccctv cams are not working,” she pointed at the installed camera in the reception.
“s***,” he turned around without a care.
“Internet is very important,” Cayn laughed.
“Excuse my manners, what’s your name?” she asked him.
“John!” he answered.
“This is when I’m realizing that you didn’t tell me your name,” the guard said.
“We were stressed i guess, with the car breakdown,” Cayn said faking a smile.
“Did you guys have dinner?” the female officer asked.
“No!” Cayn and the guard answered at the same time.
“Let me grab something for you,” she stood up walking past Cayn ensuring she rubbed her hip against his hand. “I’ll be back soon.”
Cayn loathed her even more. Now he had to get rid of the guard before she came back. With the way things were going, he knew he only had a limited amount of time. The reception been deserted was all a gimmick to pave way for him from the people he was working with in the inside. “It’s hot in here,” he said standing up.
“Very hot,” the guard said browsing on his phone.
Cayn walked to the reception table and looked around. There was no one and the Ccctv camera was not working. He slowly walked behind the guard who was busy laughing at what he was watching on Facebook and covered his face with a cloth. The guard shook wanting to get off the grip but he could’t till he passed out. Knowing the place all too well thanks to his investigation, there was a resting room just at the reception where night shift officers specifically those at the reception used. He dragged the guard to the room and put him under a bed. As soon as he was done, he turned around and found the female officer staring at him blankly.
In the cell, Sky curled herself in the fourth corner as the other three were occupied. She was quietly listening to what one would say but no one said anything. They were all quiet. All she could hear were under the breath hummings. The place had a deadly stench that Sky felt dizzy when she was brought in. Was all this a bad idea? She questioned herself. She felt stupid because the only reliance to identify Cayns mother was her saying ‘Limbikani.’ What if she had stopped. Sky became scared and tried to listen attentively even hearing and counting their heartbeats.
“Are you the girl?” a voice asked in the corner on her left.
Sky was alarmed.
“Answer me,” the voice said this time sounding annoyed and impatient.
“Which girl?” Sky answered realizing the question was directed at her.
“The girl who has come to break that woman out of here,” she pointed at Sky’s far right corner.
Sky was breathing heavily. She didn’t know what she was supposed to do. Her cover was compromised, she thought. She was panicking it was unlike her. “Boss!” she said trying to get hold of Cayn on their tiny communication devices.
There was no response from Cayn. She looked on her far right and heard something.
To be continued
Beating The Odds – Episode 18