Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Butcher 2




The meat from his shenanigans he continued to sell as ‘special’, but he learnt within a short time to price it very expensively, telling people he got it, not from the regular abattoir in the market but from a top-class abattoir where only the best of cows reared in top farms and fed the best feed was slaughtered.

And he made an amazing amount of money.

Finally, the life he had always dreamt of was in reach. He was able to move to a nice apartment, buy a good tokunbo car, send money regularly to his family in Oyo state and still have enough for a tidy savings.

The remains he was working on at present belonged to a super plump woman that sold agbo in the market. Her name was Hajara and he had started an affair with her because he found her extremely large backside very attractive, but with time, he had begun to imagine the amount of meat that was stacked up on her hips and buttocks alone, and the killing he would make if he butchered her.

So he had tricked her into going to his other stall with him for a quickie that night, with the promise of a large reward. Of course, sex was the last thing on his mind and the moment she undressed, he slit her throat.

The meat was as plenty as he had expected, and he found himself almost orgasming as he thought of the hundreds of thousands he would make from selling it the next day.

“Alani!”

The sudden shout of his name wiped the happy grin off the butcher’s face as his head shot up to see someone standing at the doorway of his stall.

At first, he expected it to be one of the watchmen. He usually tipped them heavily, in cash and meat. So they were used to his lateness in the market and never bothered him nor came near his shop when he was still around, as he had told them he did not like disturbance when he was trying to pack for the day. Why was one of them disturbing him now? But when he peered at the figure standing there, he saw that it was not one of the watchmen but Saheed, a fellow butcher, and in fact, his neighbor at the other stall.

“What are you doing?” Saheed questioned him in Yoruba.

Alani dropped his knife and moved closer to Saheed, hoping the other man had not seen anything that would let him into the fact that the meat he was cutting was of human source. But the look of horror that was deeply etched into Saheed’s face told him he had seen it. The pieces of fleshy human hands and legs at a corner of the stall, Hajara’s bloody clothes bunched underneath his work table, partially covering her head with the Ghana-weaving hairstyle that adorned it, were not that hard to pick up in the reddish light of his lantern.

He felt anger well up in his veins hotly. What was the busy-body looking for here at this secluded part of the market at this time of the night? He had closed for the day many hours ago, why had he come back?

It was no secret to Alani that Saheed, much like many of the other butchers, was jealous of his recent goodwill and always seeking to know the secret of his ‘special’ that had so many customers rushing to his stall. A few of them had tried getting him to show them where he bought this ‘special’ meat, but he had simply laughed and told them to find their own source. He had even heard a couple of them discussing that he had ‘te ni di’, meaning he had done something diabolical to bolster his success.

It was clear that in his bid to find the root of his success, Saheed, had only pretended to go home early today and had come back to snoop on him.

“Alani, you are killing people,” Saheed accused, then he raised alarm, “Olode, Olode…”

But even before the words left his mouth, Alani sprang at him and wrestled him to the ground, his blood-stained hand grabbing at his throat.

Alani was big and powerfully built with black rippling muscles, a dividend of his tasking work, patterning his 5 foot 11 frame, but Saheed was just as strong and even taller. He pushed Alani’s hands away from his throat and landed a stunning blow to his head. With this gained advantage, Saheed quickly locked Alani down and once again shouted for the vigilante. “Olode!”

Alani struggled against the other man’s hold, legs scraping wildly at the earth. He knew once the watchmen arrived, he was done for. He heard an answering shout when Saheed called out a third time and he became desperate.

He jabbed his fingers hard into the other man’s face, gouging at his eyes. Saheed screamed in pain and his hold loosened. Alani took that opportunity to push hard at him and sent him toppling toward the gutter that ran beside his stall. Saheed flailed his hands but could not stop himself from falling into the gutter. His head hit the concrete side and his neck snapped at the impact.

Alani heard fast approaching feet. His ever-agile mind weighed his options. He could either run away or wait and try to make the watchmen believe that Saheed had tried to attack him and steal his money. He knew the chances of that story being believed was very tiny; Saheed was very well known in the market and painting him as a thief would be a hard sell. The former was his only option.

Quickly, he dove into the night, away from his stall and away from the approaching watchmen. He knew he would be unable to go home, they would put two and two together and go looking for him there. That meant he would not be able to retrieve the close to a million he had stashed under his bed.

He would have to let go of everything he had and start afresh somewhere far away. But there was one thing he was sure of; he would find a way to continue his ‘special’ butchery business wherever he went.


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