A Novel Written By: Kolade Segun-Okeowo (KSO)
The silence became deeper as Lanre took the backward steps to position himself for the jump. The greatest of the candidates was going for a life and death jump. Should Lanre die in the process the whole campus would be engulfed in a crisis within twenty-four hours, the President of the Students’ Union would be declared missing! Policemen would be invited. The thoughts ran wildly through the Capone’s mind. As Lanre ran towards the fire, Dragoe closed his eyes tightly.
Princess Hagatha continued her operations on the campus. At the same time, she pursued the mission in Onigba Iwofa. She possessed a dual personality. Her ranking as a Daughter of the River operating In the Highest Level of Spiritual Wickedness, afforded her the rare privilege of being able to be in four places at the same time. She had registered as a student in the Federal University. Her recent promotion in the Marine kingdom had earned her a hundred percent increase in the number of demons in her control.
In the last two semesters she had successfully initiated forty two girls into the marine kingdom. Her method had been very simple; give them various gifts ranging from cosmetics to under wears and expensive clothes, thereby drawing their hearts closer. By the time she introduces them to the Marine Kingdom, none would be able to resist.
She had however carefully avoided the girls who are born-again Christians. She knew them and could identify the serious ones. She has a powerful telescopic device attached to her forehead. The invisible device enables her to see through the heart of others and have knowledge of what goes on there.
As she strolled towards one of the lecture rooms that morning, her mind was completely occupied with the successes of her mission at the Onigba-Iwofa village.
Following the death of Elder Bodunde, most of the church members had stopped coming to the services. The incident and other mysterious deaths had sent fear into the congregation.
She strolled across the Students Union Building. Lanre and two of his friends stood on the balcony overlooking the Aluta Grounds. Hagatha walked provocatively, her hips jutting out precariously as she moved. Her mini-shirt exposed a greater part of her seductive thighs. She wore a topless blouse.
From the balcony of the Students’ Union Building, Lanre’s eyes followed her, his mind far away from the discussion going on between his friends. From where he stood, he could see the girl’s cleavages. He fixed his eyes on her as she moved closer and closer.
“Men … check out this babe!” Lanre broke the discussion “This is one of the hottest babes on this campus … What do you think Chris?”
“Well, as for me I’m not interested in any babe now … I have more than enough…I’m even thinking of how to offload them!” Chris said laughing!
“Lanre, I know this babe o! She’s too heavy for you. She’s one of the richest on this campus. She drives a Lexus!” Said George.
‘Lexus!’ Lanre’s heart missed a beat. Then he remembered something. ‘… and so what! There’s no babe on this campus I can’t capture within minutes’ said Lanre.
‘Because you’re President of the Students’ Union?’ Sneered Chris.
“Bullshit! Forget about being President or not … I can get this girl in a matter of minutes!” Lanre boasted. Princess Hagatha was now standing in front of the Union Building as if waiting for someone. Suddenly, one of her files dropped. She bent to pick the file exposing more of her nudity.
“Oh my God…” Lanre whistled “Imagine those legs! Men, I must have this girl”
“I’m sure she’ll nail you” George warned.
“If she nails me, I’ll buy you twelve bottles of beer. If not you’ll do the buying” Lanre set a bargain.
“Accepted!” George said without thinking. He was sure the girl will turn down Lanre. He believed such girls are too expensive to be carried away by the fact that a guy belonged to the Students’ Union Government. He knew Betty very well; the Peugeot 505 she now drives is her third car in one session. She used to drive a Benz 230E and a BMW in the previous semesters.
Lanre on his own knew the girl would fall for him. Not because he was the President of the Students’ Union but because he was in possession of something beyond human explanation. As he ran down the stairs towards the girl, he drew out a white handkerchief from his pocket and wiped his face three times. The handkerchief had never failed since the Capone handed it over to him following his initiation. He had used it five times successfully dumping the girls after having carnal knowledge of them.
“Hi … you look like the beauty queen I saw in my dream yesternight!” Lanre started as he got to where Princess Hagatha stood. She turned around and saw Lanre. The approach threw her off balance.
“I’m sure I wasn’t the one you saw, neither do I look like her” She responded.
“Am afraid, I’m convinced you’re the one … I’ll like to know you better… I’m Lanre Durotoye, LARRY BEE, President of the Students’ Union”
“Well, everyone on the campus knows you” She replied blushing.
“So give me the privilege of knowing you”
“I’m Betty… Betty Campbell” She said flashing her beautiful gap tooth.
“I swear, I have never seen a more beautiful girl on this campus” Lanre said between smiles.
“Thanks for the compliments” She smiled again.
“Your name rings a bell you know?”
“Really… what do you mean” Hagatha knew where he was heading to.
She smiled again. Already she was planning her strategies on how to deal with the young man standing before her.
“I lost my girlfriend last semester, her name was Betty, she was my only girlfriend, I loved her so much before she died” The lies were flowing out ceaselessly. Lanre himself wondered where he found those fabrications.
“Oh! What a pity, please accept my condolence” Betty said, her voice dropping in sympathy.
“Can I say I’ve found another Betty?”
Betty was silent … She stared at Lanre and burst into laughter out of pity for him.
‘Common she’s falling for me’ Lanre thought.
“Can we see more of each other…? I stay in the Presidential Lodge. May I take you out tonight? ”
“To where?” Betty asked
“Anywhere you choose” Lanre said his mind racing very fast.
“Well… my lectures end at seven, I need to freshen up. So I can’t go anywhere until nine”
“That’s okay by me… are you saying I should pick you at nine” Lanre asked again.
“May be” She said shrugging her shoulders. Lanre knew what she meant. He knew a lady meant “yes” if she says “may be”. She gave her room number.
Chris and George had watched from the Student’s Union Building with disbelief. George had expected the girl to walk away from him or simply refuse to talk to him. Lanre returned to them gleefully. He threw the handkerchief up in a sign of victory.
“George … my twelve bottles!”
“Larry BEE Odjiga!” They hailed him.
Betty stole a glance back and saw the young men rejoicing. She shook her head, smiled and walked away.
Lanre found Betty rather too easy. By the time he arrived to pick her for the date, Betty was already waiting for him. Her night wear was both smashing and revealing; almost exposing her entire nudity. Lanre was happy. He imagined where the date would end up that night.
“I ve never seen a more smashing nightdress like this in all my life”. Lanre said as he settled on the side chair waiting for Betty to tidy up herself.
“Thanks for the compliment” Betty said and smiled. She quickly stole a glance at Lanre sizing up what he was wearing. A brown baggy shirt and blue jeans.
“I’m ready”. She said.
“How about your room mates”. Lanre asked.
“I don’t have any roommate. I bought the room to myself alone” She replied.
Lanre smiled trying to cover up his surprise. It’s not only strange but also unheard of on the campus where some rooms are occupied by as many as eight or even twelve students. He wondered how Betty managed to buy the room from the porters when the Students’ Union had made a rule against such sale of rooms.
“How did you manage to buy a room,” He asked as they entered the Students Union official car he had brought to pick Betty.
“I simply paid off the official allottees” She said smiling. Lanre looked at her with surprise.
“You paid them off! … and they accepted?”
“The offer was irresistible!”
“Two hundred naira each”
“How many of them?”
Lanre did a quick calculation. Six hundred naira for a room that officially costs one hundred and twenty naira per occupant.
“I see” Lanre managed to say. He strongly detested the action. To him, such things are the negative effects of capitalism which he and his colleagues in the Student’s Socialist Club had campaigned against. He quickly dismissed his thoughts on the issue. That should not be enough to stop his evening of bliss with Betty. Capitalism or no capitalism, he was going to enjoy himself with Betty.
He parked the car about a hundred metres away from the gates of Hotel de Pleasure. He chose a quiet dark spot where no one would be able to identify the Student’s Union vehicle. He had to do that or else tongues will begin to wag on the campus. The Press Clubs would have a field day bragging and make mountain out of molehill from the incident. He looked around and prayed silently that no one would see the car there.
Lanre did not waste time to invite Betty to one of his rooms he had booked a few hours earlier. Betty accepted immediately. ‘The handkerchief is working like magic!’ Lanre thought. He brought the white handkerchief out and wiped his face.
Betty took a final sip from the red wine and adjusted her gown. They had hardly taken half of the full chicken Lanre ordered. As soon as they entered the room, Betty started undressing. Though, Lanre was surprised, he did not show it. This was about the cheapest of the girls he had used the handkerchief on. He silently thanked his star and imagined what would have done without the handkerchief.
Within thirty minutes, it was all over. Lanre had satisfied his fleshly lust. Tired and exhausted, he lied carelessly on the bed sweating despite the air conditioner in the room. Gradually, he drifted off into sleep. Betty lay beside him.
At midnight, Betty woke. Opened her eyes gradually and checked her wristwatch, seven minutes to midnight! She had only five minutes left to get to the palace of the Queen of the Katangua Kingdom. The Queen will not tolerate any excuse no matter how genuine it might appear.
She rose from the bed and put on her clothes. She picked her bag after wearing her shoes. She leaned beside the wardrobe and transformed herself into her garment of the Katangua region. With her left hand she cast a spell on the body lying almost motionlessly on the bed and disappeared. She would be in the palace within ten seconds.
Hotel de Pleasure maintains a tradition of excellence in its customers’ relations and services. The management has instructed the staff to treat customers as if the hotel were a five star hotel, though it was not. Ten of its stewards had been taken on a practical course to the Federal Palace Hotel in Lagos where they stayed a whole week and understudied the services and customer relations of the premier hotel.
As soon as they returned, the management changed their uniforms to more corporate looking ones with new shoes and other accessories.
The services of Hotel de Pleasure changed rapidly, within two weeks. In the last one month, the hotel had played hosts to the Conference of Vice-Chancellors of Universities and the International Committee on Disarmament meeting. Its nearness to the University campus had rendered it an haven for the University lecturers and students who could afford the charges.
As usual one of the stewards had approached room 207 where Lanre and Betty had lodged with his tray of coffee. The Hotel Manager had instructed that all guests be served free coffee every morning. He knocked twice, but there was no response. He knocked the third time and thought he heard a response; he opened the door and moved in smiling. The pillow moved too fast for him to dodge. He was hit and sent crashing on the floor with the tray of the hot coffee he was carrying. He quickly stood up to survey what had happened to him.
Right on the bed was Lanre looking weird and wild, he had already scattered the room. He had only his pants on. The steward stood there transfixed unsure of what to do.
“O…ro…go…ji….go! O …ro… go…ji… go…ooo!” Screamed Lanre beating his chest like King Kong. He made for the bedside stool and dashed it at the steward. It was too fast for the steward, the stool landed directly where he stood. He managed to escape narrowly. He dashed quickly out of the room crashing into another steward along the corridor and scramble towards the Hotel Manager’s office.
“Alfred, what’s going on here?” The Manager asked as the steward burst into his office panting.
“The … the guest … in …in room 207 is going crazy!”
“Going crazy? … Are you alright?”
“Yes Sir! He came yesterday around 8.30pm with a girl … He attacked me” The steward said still panting, managing to squeeze the words out of himself.
“He could be drunk…” The manager offered an explanation of the situation.
“No sir … I attended to them when they came last night. He did not finish the only bottle of stout he ordered”
“But that’s strange … alright … go get the guards and meet me in the room”
“Alright Sir … please Sir don’t attempt to go in, he may harm you!”
The door to room 207 was slightly opened when the Manager got there. A small crowd had already gathered along the corridor discussing the incident. The other steward pushed down by Alfred was there nursing his wound. One of the cups he was carrying had broken and left a wound on his forehead.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I want to assure you that there’s no cause for alarm.” The Manager said trying to allay the fears of the crowd mainly the guests who were staying in rooms on that floor. They had heard the noise and screaming so they came out to see what the noise meant.
“Everything will soon be brought under control”. He said and moved near the door, he placed his ear on the door and listened for any sound. He appeared to have heard no sound. Gradually, he opened the door and stepped carefully into the room… he looked around the room, the bed was rough quite alright, but no one was there, he bent to check under the bed, it was empty suddenly two pairs of hands grabbled his neck tightening his windpipe.
To be continued in Episode 20.