Written by author Nath
Hearing the name, Lina rushed out, first, staring at Valentine just the way he never left his eyes from her. She ran to him and hugged him tightly in the presence of Mrs Kate who glanced at Pakyle, suspecting the kids like an inspector to a suspect. Val left Lina to one of the computers which he began to operate, while others watched him strangely, wondering what he was doing. His fingers on the keyboard were faster than a scorpion in motion.
“What’s happening, Val?” Pakyle broke the silence.
“I have a bitch to kill” he replied without turning from the computer, while others looked at one another.
Valentine finally turned to them, though a finger rested on the keyboard of the computer. He looked from Lina, across his mother to Pakyle saying, “Jessica is the bitch.”
“Not tonight, mom coz tonight we are entering into the blank world wherever it may be.” Val responded unabashedly. What could give him such morale and confidence to locate a world Pakyle had worked endlessly for years trying to locate it? The old man wondered in his heart likewise Lina who approached Val saying, “What have they done to you? why speaking like a mad man?”
“Hey, little girl, watch you’re mouth!” Mrs Kate defended her son which had been a source of conflict between them coz Val never liked it. It made him look like he cannot fight his own battle by himself especially in the presence of a beautiful damsel. Therefore he retaliated saying, “Mom, she was referring to me not you!”
“Oh, well, don’t you know that when you are called mad, I’m indirectly a partaker of the madness.”
“She said like a mad man.”
“I’m mad that you’re like a mad man”
“Now, who’s mad?”
“I am. No, not mad like mad. I’m just mad at…”
“Quiet!” Pakyle interrupted Mrs Kate when he couldn’t take the stupid argument anymore, while Lina couldn’t help it but smiled broadly like one who has been hilariously entertained. Thus the room became as quiet as a library. “Now tell us who this bitch is and how you think we could get to the blank world tonight. What happened to you out there?”
Valentine exhaled. “Jessica is the bitch” he began to explain….
When Valentine was loosed from the chair, he quickly brought out a tracking device which he folded in his palm before being carried to the experimental bed where he struggled. “What do you want to do to me, Jessica?!” he shouted.
“I want to kill you before you locate the blank world with you’re ability?” Jessica stood beside him on the bed which enabled Val to put the tracking device on her cloth. Surprisingly, even at the point of death, Val took a deep breath and said, glaring at her, “Make sure you kill me now coz if you don’t and I escape from here, you’re a dead bitch.”
Jessica shocked, staring at him for a moment before she positioned a bright light on his face without saying anything yet. Meanwhile, Valentine’s head, hands and legs had been locked in a way he couldn’t move them. Only with his eyes did he see what was about to befall him. Jessica gestured at one of the men. “Do it!” she ordered. The man pressed a button which activated a bimetallic strip, heating the boy to unconsciousness. They carried an operation on his head in order to take away his vision powers which, of course, they did.
Almost an hour, Val woke up to see himself released. He climbed down from the bed, narrowed his sight to see Jessica standing in between two men.
“You’re free to go to your mother or Pakyle whoever you’re with” Jessica broke the silence.
Val looked at his body. “Just like that?” he asked. “What happened to the part of killing me?” he added.
Jessica smiled and stepped forward. “I accepted you’re challenge. I’ll watch to see how you gonna kill me. But after an attempt and you fail, I will then kill you. Deal?”
Val said nothing as he began to leave the sanctum. A man blocked him, blind-folded him again then pushed him.
“My regards to Pakyle.” Val heard Jessica’s voice again. “I’ll advice you all to stop interfering on our business before I change my mind for you to be killed” she concluded…..
Valentine explained but never mentioned the part of his father being alive. Pakyle thought critically, scratching his beards. “Jessica must have known who you are and your ability. I guess that’s what she took from you in order not to locate the blank world” he substantiated.
“But how could she?” Lina asked.
“Val, do you know how the woman got to know you?” The mother carefully asked him. Valentine looked at her, remembering the existence of his father.
“No” he shook his head. “I don’t know” he added, generating another silence. He lied to them especially to his mother for a reason best known to him. Just then, a beeping sound came from the computer; that was Jessica’s location.
“We need to locate her now in order to get into the blank world” Val broke the silence.
“Wait” Lina pointed at the computer. “She’s at the same place Val was captured. That simply means that we were close to the blank world” she clarified….
The inner chamber of the blank world was set apart from other places. It was a factory for the production of candles manually. One could see smoke coming out from the roof and windows of the large building. Only workers like Jude could be found there. They hardly leave the chamber unless on occasional days. Suddenly, Jessica arrived there with her clippers on horses whose neigh drew the attention of people. Jude stepped out of the factory, painted all over his body with a black smoke.
“Surprise visit, Jessica!” he began to move closer to them.
“Yes, Jude. I came to tell you that i met your son today coz he was close to locate here as you said.” Jessica said.
Jude glared. “What have you done to my son!” he angrily pushed forward as if to beat the old witch to death, but by the hearing of drawn swards of the clippers, he stopped on the way.
Jessica smiled. “Why are you scared? Didn’t you say that he will be the one to kill me? You should have asked what has he done to me?” She stepped forward. “Well, your son is alive. But the next time we meet, either he kills me or kill him.” she mounted her horse with the clippers then gallop away.
Jude exhaled, he was not only happy to know that Val made an attempt to locate the blank world but also happy that he’s okay. “Kate..” he soliloquized, thinking about his wife and also missing her.
On the other hand at Kezra, Benny cornered Cynthia as Jessica was on her way. Both could be seen at a hidden place like rats, escaping from a cat. Benny wore a black polo shirt over a jean trouser, while Cynthia was on a light gown.
“It seems like you don’t value your life” Benny whispered. “What were you thinking telling Amaya all those things? Jessica won’t hesitate to kill you!”
“I don’t know what that girl gave to me. I can’t resist her questions. I love her so much that I wouldn’t even want her to engage in an intercourse with Sunday, her twin brother. I have to decode the secret of a family and bible to her. Please, you must not tell Jessica.” Cynthia pleaded.
“You’re insane!” Angrily, Benny left her standing there, thus increasing the heartbeat of the young lady.
The sky was getting dark when Pakyle and Lina got ready to track down Jessica without Valentine who did all his possible best to follow them, but they insisted, rather gave him in charge of the panic room with his mother who watched as the son gazed at the computer screen, staring at a green and red dots which signifies his team and Jessica’s position respectively.
“Son?” The mother broke his concentration. “Is there something bothering you?”
Val looked at her then shook his head negatively. “Can you remind me again how my dad died?” he asked.
Bemused, the mother said, “Heart attack, the doctor reported him dead and he was buried a few days later.”
“The same doctor” Val murmured, shaking his head and remembering Jessica’s words: WHEN WE TAKE SOMEBODY FROM THE REAL WORLD, WE HAVE A WAY OF MAKING PEOPLE BELIEVE THEY’RE DEAD, EVEN THEIR LOVE ONES.
“Son, is anything the matter?” Mrs Kate was still very inquisitive.
“No” he replied.
Meanwhile, back to the forest, Pakyle and Lina walked around with their guns carefully handled. Both had earphones in one of their ears which they used to communicate with Valentine.
“Val, where is Jessica’s location?” Pakyle whispered.
“East. Not far from both of you.” he replied through the phone.
Carefully, they walked East to the point where Jessica was found. Of course crickets never stopped chirping in the forest.
“Lina, tell me you’ve seen her coz both of you are with her according to my signal here.” Val sounded on the phone.
“There is no sign of any human being here” Lina whispered.
“How possible is it?! You’re with Jessica!”
“The blank world must be spiritual then”
Pakyle glanced up and said. “No, it’s not spiritual but a virtual reality, VR”
“What a fvck do you mean by that!?” Lina asked.
Suddenly, a bullet flew through air and hit down Lina. Pakyle traced the sound of the gun, shooting back at the person whom he hadn’t seen until both stopped, allowing the crickets to take over the sound again.
“The Blank World you seek is like a locked room. You need the key before you enter it” a strange voice said from afar.
“I said it, VR” Pakyle whispered.
The voice came again. “Now that I’ve licked the secret to you, you’re not going out here alive!” Another gunshot escalated…..
TO BE CONTINUED