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Swing Episode 6: The Worst Nature Of Villainus Slade

“I am not in the mood for your games,” I say.

My replica struts about, kicking at the sand.

“Let’s just leave this wretched school. I’ll tell you on the way.” he says.

I give him an impatient shoulder pat “tell me what the witch doctor told you. Don’t make me regret rescuing you.”

He strokes his nose and places his hands in his trouser pockets “okay Sladey boy, since you’re so eager to know.”

“I am quite eager to know,” I urge him.

My replica shuffles his feet “you wouldn’t like what the witch doctor said.”

I stone my machete into the earth so that it stands upright. “tell me already!” I yell.

He shrugs his shoulders “well it wasn’t easy but I was able to discover quite a lot of things.” he says and paces about “first off, I know where the woman lives. You know, the female member of my three captors.”

I hate the fact that he sees my life as his life. Just look at him saying ‘my three captors’ when I was the one that was captured by the three devils.

He wasn’t even there when during the ritual. And he doesn’t even say ‘our’, he says ‘my’.

But I am in no mood to bicker about that right now.

“Okay…so let’s go find her.” I say, already walking towards the school gate.

“Well there’s something else, Slade.” He says.

“What’s that?” I ask, turning back.

He seems really hesitant to say it. In fact he actually looks pained. I mean, who would have thought that this annoying jerkhole would be capable of feeling pain? I am almost tempted to tease him.

But all I say is “what else did the witch doctor say?”

My replica sighs, “the witch doctor was so pleased to say this and he was so certain of it. He called me an abomination, a creature of evil.

He says I am a Villainus, a malevolent entity that must cause death every day in order to stay alive.”

We both stand in silence just watching each other. I guess I feel tongue tied. But then I start to laugh. I just find his outburst amusing.

“Cause death to stay alive huh? Do you mean like a vampire that has to suck blood?” I say.

My replica shakes his head “don’t mock, Slade. This is real. He never said anything about sucking blood. All he said was that I have to take a life every day or I will disintegrate.

He said that the only reason why I saw today was because of the armed robbers I ripped apart yesterday afternoon.”

Okay, did you see what he just did? You saw it right? He just said he ripped the robbers apart. At least you were there, you saw everything.

I mean, what the hell is wrong with him? You know what, I won’t take this. I can’t.

“You didn’t meet the robbers.” I say.

“What?” he asks, feeling side-tracked.

“The robbers, I killed them. You didn’t. We are not the same person.” I yell.

“Are you serious right now? I am talking about something vital to my existence and you want to argue about who gets to be the ‘I’?” he says, looking genuinely exasperated.

“What? There’s no argument here! I am the ‘I’. What the hell is the ‘I’? I am me, I am myself. You are just a weird replica of mine okay? We do not share a ‘self’! Gosh, what am I saying? This whole argument is autistic.” I rant.

“We can agree on that.” He says “but if the witch doctor is being honest, then we have to kill someone before the day runs out.

You know the keke would come for you once its past eleven to take you back to the forest. And you’re of no use once you start your floating like a frozen ghost.”

This statement of his shocks me to the core. There’s blood thumping in my head and a bitter taste has formed at the back of my throat. What is he talking about?

“Do you mean to say that that creepy keke would come for me again?” I ask.

 “Wow Slade, just when I think we’re operating on the same frequency, you say some dumb stuff that proves you still have a primitive brain.

Were you ever a homo Sapien? Did you evolve at all?”

I just gape at him, as the idea of it sinks in.

“The keke would come for you every night by eleven pm. Because that is the exact moment you died.” He says.

I step back, shaking my head “this is ridiculous. I am not dead. How can I be dead? I woke up the next morning after the witch doctor slashed me. I never actually died.”

He is giving me a blank stare “well we have to kill someone.” He says “Disintegration scares me. Where would I go, after I disintegrate?” 

“Why does the keke not come for you?” I ask.

He waves his hand as if the question is such a hassle “I am a more evolved version of you. You are the most human version of the both of us.

I am only here because you wished it.” he says.

I shake my head “I never wished for you. I was trapped under that tree and I called for help.”

“No, you wanted me here. Look, every human being has a myriad of versions in several parallel worlds.

Imagine you want to drink a cup of water but you don’t. Well there’s a version of you drinking a cup of water in another world.

fiction-story-site-personal-blog-paranormal-short-stories-series-risewiki-swing-slade-akintola-naij-bbc-cnn-amazon-kindle

Those versions are called parallels. Every decision we make creates a parallel. There is a parallel for every measure of time, whether it’s a millisecond or a second, name it.

If two people are conversing in another state, there is a version of you listening to that conversation.” He says.

“How? I don’t understand. Am I everywhere?” I ask.

“Well duh. If you can imagine yourself going to that state where the conversation is being held, then that means a version of yourself went there.

Look, this is nothing new okay, it’s a very familiar theory. But as a Villanus, you can get in touch with your parallels, you can meet them.

I am just a smarter parallel of you who understands everything about your new nature. You wished you could understand and that is why I came.” He says.

Wow.

“So there is a billionaire version of me somewhere?” I say.

He rolls his eyes “well, I haven’t met him but it’s very possible. I don’t think he will care to meet you though.

Unlike the parallels of human beings, we Villanus parallels know that we are not original and some of us resent that.

Look it takes energy to summon us, okay? You cannot even keep me for much longer. I feel my world calling back to me already. Soon I will be gone.

It’s why you have to understand your nature. You must kill to stay alive.” He says.

“That’s no problem,” I say “I’m sure there are enough hoodlums out there that deserve to die.”

He shakes his head “no Slade, the witch doctor was very specific. He says that soon your nature would become picky and it would require the death of innocents from you. This is why you are a creature of evil.”

“I don’t want to continue this conversation. Let us go to the woman’s place.” I say.

“Slade,” he mutters.

His body starts to fade from his feet up until he is transformed into a mass of smoke. A smoky hand stretches towards me, and just like before, my whole body rapidly transforms.

We soon start to swirl and dart around, rising higher and higher until we find ourselves in the midst of the clouds.

“Let us go to the east,” he says.

Our movement is quick. The wind roars around us like the sound of a thousand Lista generators.

I find it quite unnerving. I am scared that he would lose control and our body (which is already smoke,) would separate into several bits until we become nothing.

I can see a highway down below. There are cars on it but we are moving so fast, the cars don’t seem to be moving at all.

We soon cut off the high way, and soar over rooftops until we make a confusing zigzag movement as we dart across neighbourhoods like dragon flies.

“That’s the place.” he says.

I can’t see anything. All I see is a red rooftop, several feet below. We make a rapid descent so that we float to land upon the coal tar street.

I look around. This neighbourhood is posh and very suburban. The houses are identical with low fences and white gates.

My body starts to regain its true form. First my fingers show and then my hands. The reformation keeps spreading until I can stand on my two feet. My replica is already back in shape with his hands in his pocket as usual.

“Great, that’s her hanging clothes in the backyard.” He says.

I clench my fists, sighting her. “yep, oh shoot. I left my machete at the school.”

My replica looks around “nah, I’m sure it followed us.” He says “there it is,” he says pointing towards the concrete electric pole at the edge of the woman’s compound.

“How did it get there?” I ask, jogging towards the cutlass.

The machete stands just at the base of the pole, stuck in the earth, the way I left it back at the school. I pull it out and wipe it against my trouser. My parallel is giving me a weird look.

“What?” I ask, coming back to stand beside him.

“You look really dismal. You don’t even have shoes. Maybe we should break into a boutique while I’m still with you. I will soon be gone, you know.”

So what is he feeling like now?

“I can take care of myself,” I snap and start to approach the woman’s gate.

“Whoa, hold on. No one wants her head more than I do.” My replica says from behind me.

I push the gate open and march into the compound. Just then her dog starts barking from behind me. It was so still, I didn’t even take note of it when I walked in. It is chained to the fence…and it’s a really massive white beast.  

“Raska, what’s the matter?” The woman yells from the backyard.

The dog keeps barking and lunging at me, pulling the chain to its limit.

“Raska, don’t be a nuisance.” The woman says, stepping to the frontage.

And then she sees me, the dishevelled kid with no shoes, who’s holding a blood-stained machete.

“Jesus!” she yells and runs towards the backyard.

But my replica stands in her path.

“Oh pardon me ma. You seem to be in such a hurry.” He says with a wide grin.

Her head swings to and fro, as she looks from him to me and back to him again. She covers her mouth, stepping back.

“Who are you? What do you want? If its money, please we don’t keep money at home. Just take whatever you want. Please I beg you!” she wails.

I spit on the lawn and approach her.

“Don’t you recognise me?” I ask.

She frowns, studying me and then shakes her head.

“You don’t recognise me huh? You can’t remember the poor boy you kidnapped and left for dead?” I say.

She shakes her head and goes on her knees. She is weeping and her blue velvet head scarf is about to fall off her head.

“Please I don’t know you. We’ve never met na. Kidnap? Why would I do such a thing?” she says in between tears.

“I think we should cut off one of her fingers. Maybe that will jog her memory.” My replica says.

I nod in agreement “hmm, sounds like a plan. Please ma, can you stretch out your right hand?”

She weeps even more and folds her hands tightly “please don’t do this.  I swear I don’t know you boys. I don’t know you boys oo…heey.”

My replica yawns “I am really disappointed. I expected her to have a little more class.

If you feel too attached to your fingers then we’ll start with your eyeballs.” He says and yanks head back by pulling at her woven hair.

“Jesus oo! Somebody help me!” she wails.

She wails even louder until someone from another compound yells “Mama Ayo, what is happening?”

“Awesome, an audience. This is becoming interesting.” My parallel says with a wide smile.

“Are you insane? We can’t have an audience.” I say.

Just as I am saying that, the net door from the other compound swings open and an elderly woman steps out to her veranda.

“What is going on?” she says coming down her front porch “Jesus! Who are you boys?”

“We could just kill her too. She is innocent. That saves us the stress of having to find a victim.” My replica says, licking his lips.

Crap, I muse as more neighbours start falling out from their compounds.

“We did not think this through.” I say “let’s get out of here while we still can. They have probably called the police by now.”

“No Slade, we’ll kill everyone” he says.

 I look at him. From the cold smile on his lips and the way he is narrowing his eyes, I can tell that he is dead serious.

He seems really pleased to see all the residents of the neighbourhood. I march towards him and shove him so that he staggers back towards the net fence.

“Are you out of your mind? You want to kill a whole neighbourhood?” I ask.

“Well they are in the way. Do you think these people are just going to stand and watch while we deal with this she-devil?” he asks.

I turn towards the small crowd. Most of them have already entered the compound. One boy, about my age or so, rushes to the woman.

“Mom, what happened?” he asks embracing her “are you okay?”

She holds on to the boy and sobs. The boy looks at me and pins me with a cold stare.

“Can you see the way the mortal is looking at you? Really, Slade?”  my parallel says, folding his arms.

And then two formidable middle-aged men dressed in singlets and black shorts quickly approach me.

“Young man, drop the cutlass.” One of them says.

Great. This is so not how I planned for things to happen. I guess I’ll just have to take the easy way out. I release my grip to let the machete fall.

But it happens so fast. My replica moves like a whiplash and catches the cutlass before it reaches the green grass.

Next thing we all know, he’s holding the woman’s son and he has the blade against the boy’s throat.

“So here’s how it’s gonna be.” He says with a bright smile “you will confess to all this witnesses gathered here today.

You will tell them everything you and your cohorts did to me that night, five years ago or so help me, I will send your son to heaven…or hell.”

The woman starts to sob “you people should come and see oo.  I have never seen these boys before, not to talk of do something to them. What kind of trouble is this?”

There is a glint in my parallel’s eyes that lets me know he’s about slash the boy.

“Whoa, okay look. First off, hold on you freak.” I say to him with a stern look and then face the woman

“if you have any doubts about his seriousness, I would suggest you overcome them. He is really bloodthirsty. We just want you dead, that’s all. Do you really want to bring your son into this?”

She starts to sob again.

“Please what did she do you eh? And this is not the way to go about it. You can’t just take laws into your hands like this.” says the elderly woman that was first to reach the scene.

“Slade…they’re boring me.” My replica says in a singsong voice. 

“Mummy maybe it is aunty they are looking for.” Her son says breathlessly.

My parallel is almost strangling him.

“Ayo shut up!” the woman yells at the boy.

I step closer to the boy so that I look in his eyes.

“What aunty?” I ask.

“Ayo don’t tell him anything!” the mother wails.

“My mother has a twin sister.” The boy says “her sister lives in Italy.”

I step backwards as everything starts to make sense. I could tell there was something different about her. She wasn’t as hard or as mean as her sister. I knew it.

My replica looks so glum “so I’m guessing we can’t kill them. Wait, can’t we just kill her to hurt her sister?”

I’m about to snap at him when sirens start blaring. Two black Hilux vans zoom up to the front of the house.

The eight doors open almost simultaneously and hefty men in uniforms fall out. They’ve got their rifles and batons in arm as they march towards the compound.

My replica pushes the boy to his mother and comes to stand beside me.

“owwkay we probably should get out of here.” He says.

“What is going on here?” One of the police men barks out.

“You, what are you doing with the cutlass?” another asks, glaring at my replica.

“Are they twins?” says another police man who comes closer to inspect us.

“These evil boys were threatening to kill our neighbour.” The elderly woman says.

“Why are we still here? Do the smoke stuff already.”  I mutter to my parallel.

He scratches his head “Um, don’t panic but I think I’m out of energy.”

“You’re what?” I exclaim.

Just then, one of the police men dashes me a hot slap that makes me stagger to fall on my replica.

“Do you hooligans think this a joke? You’re still whispering among yourselves eh?” he bellows.

Before we can say swing, he brushes our feet off the floor with one quick swipe of his leg. I fall so hard on my bottom that I even bite my tongue.

“What do you mean you are out of energy?” I ask my parallel as we struggle to stand up.

Before he can reply, the police men begin to beat us with their batons “you guys think you are hard guys abi? Don’t worry you will see pepper today.”

The beating really hurts. You would think I would be above pain but I fill every strike they give me.

I just have a greater capacity to endure. The pain seems to die off immediately after they strike me. The sensation does not linger and this is what makes the beating so easy to endure.

They hoist us and dump us in one of the vans.

“Let’s all go and become friends at the station.” One of them says as every officer gets into the van.

My replica starts to laugh which makes me frown.

“What’s so funny?” I ask him.

“We just got arrested. Hahaha. Come on, you don’t think it’s amusing?” he asks.

Just as he’s talking, one of the officers lands a baton on his head.

“Is that funny too?” the officer asks.

----Police Station----

By the time we reach the station, the day is already dark. The officers yank us out of the van and march us straight to a cell.

This is the first time I’ve been arrested, it’s the first time I’ve seen the inside of a police cell. It is quite unsanitary, I must say. There’s a strong smell of piss and the place is downright overcrowded.

My replica just gazes around with his mouth half-open like a young boy who is feeling boobs for the first time.

Since the cell went quiet when we walked in, it feels awkward to move but I just ignore the stares as I try to pick an available spot to sit on.

Mind you, there are no chairs and the toilet seat is right at the left corner of the room.

“You don hala the Governor?” an inmate growls.

I turn to see the fellow. He is black and sweaty and so muscular you would think his blood is made of steroids.

There is a funny scar on his bald head that looks very much like the cut from a machete.

I’m about to say something when my replica snorts.

“Look at these idiots tryna form boss. You know, we should kill em.” My replica says.

They just watch us. No one says anything. But I don’t need a soothsayer to tell me that my replica just threw us into the fire.

Did you really have to say that?” I mutter.

He smirks “please Slade, they’re human.”

“who you be?” the muscular fellow growls at us “your mouth no good. Tonight you go wash am with holy water.” He says and glances at the toilet seat.

Oh no, I moan inwardly.

“Okay, we really have to get out of here.” I say to my replica.

Just as I say that, the electric bulb starts to flicker. I glance at my replica but he’s gone. I mean like, he’s vanished.

“Whoa, dude where did you go?!” I yell.

“It’s happening Slade, I can’t keep my form because you’ve grown weak. Time is running out, you have to kill someone. Don’t let the keke catch you like this or that’s the end.” He says.

But he’s not visible.

“I can’t kill anyone; the police men took my cutlass.” I say.

There is no reply.

Great, what an asshole. Of all the times to vanish, he picks now.

I look at the inmates but none of them is moving. They look petrified. I shuffle my feet and they scramble for the cell door like rats.

“Spirit! Spirit oo. Officers dem be spirits oo!” one yells, as they furiously bang the cell door.

Seeing them yank at the cell door with such horror makes me think of monkeys in a cage.

This was the way some monkeys behaved the last time I visited a zoo with my brother. He’d been eating a ripe banana right in front of the cage and well, the apes got excited.

---The Last Passenger---

Just as I’m thinking of that, the cell and its occupants disappear. Next thing I know, I am standing under the open starry sky.

My leg is dipped in sand. All I see is sand; it spreads on to the horizon. I am in a desert.

The ground starts to spin too fast so that I fall to my knees, breathing furiously. There is a lump in my throat that is making it difficult to breathe.

“What’s happening to me?” I gasp as I try to rise up.

But just like that, the sands disappear and I am falling from the sky. I can’t say how I got so high up; all I know is that I am dropping fast.

There is water below me, plenty of water like an ocean. I shut my eyes as I’m about to collide with the water.

I open my eyes to find myself lying beside a highway. I am under the bright glare of a street light. I still cannot breathe and I keep heaving like an asthmatic patient.

I crawl gingerly away from the light. I don’t know why but I just feel naked under it. I need the darkness. I keep crawling until I slump right there by the roadside.

So this is to be my end, I muse as my eyes fight to stay open. The fatigue I feel is so total, it’s like I have been working for a lifetime.

I don’t know how long I lie like this in this uncertain state of half-death.

Then I hear the pitter patter of rapid footsteps. Someone is running towards me. I lift myself up slowly until I am in a sitting position.

I see that it is a young lady. She seems so bright under the street light with her white blouse which is half ripped and her hair which is in a state of wild disarray.

She loses her step, just as she’s about to pass me and falls on her knees.

She doesn’t rise up. She just sobs there. She hasn’t seen me, she doesn’t know she is not alone. I gingerly rise up to my feet and walk up to her…stagger more like.

Maybe it’s my unsteady footsteps or maybe it’s my ragged breathing but she stops sobbing and lifts her head.

She just stares at me. I stare at her too. She wipes her tears with a quick brush of her hand.

“Were you also in the accident?” she asks me.

“What accident?” I say.

“Our bus, it tumbled and crashed into a tree. No one survived except me.” she says in between sobs.

I feel so dizzy. I just kneel beside her and stroke her hair.

“It is really unfortunate that after surviving all that, you end up with me.” I slur, as I hold her face in my hands.

She frowns, confused.

I’ve never done this before. I have only seen it happen in movies but I think it’s pretty simple. I just turn her head really fast so that it snaps. She slumps lifelessly to rest on my shoulders.

Even at that very moment, I can feel my strength returning.

 
 

I’m just Samuel, bony faced, laidback, absentminded Samuel. I don’t like to say much, I try to stay out of trouble. Some might say otherwise but that's some for you. Point is we don’t care, let’s just be chill and have fun. So come by whenever and ask me whatever.  It’s our party now and it won't start until your arrival.

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