The shouts rent the still night air rising above the croaks of a toad.
The quarter moon hid behind clouds and the wind blew softly through the mango trees.
The girl crouched at the back wall of the house, forehead to knees with eyes shut tight.
She was a pipsqueak of a girl, slender and short.
Fear filled her and with the arrival of its associate, anxiety, she felt almost ill.
She tried to bend further into herself, in a vain attempt to avoid the voice which still screamed “Obiageli! Obiageli!”
There was no way to go, her back was literally to the wall.
Suddenly, her head snapped up and with wide eyes, she stared unseeingly into the scant bushes behind the house.
Determination took the place of fear and a swift decision was made. There was no more time to waste.
She gracefully stood to her feet and a small smile lingered on her lips, a smirk perhaps.
She turned and headed inside through the back door. It was time to heed the call.
She made a quick detour to the kitchen before appearing before the screamer in the living room.
“Oh Obiageli, I’ve been calling you. Where have you been?” the fat man lounging on the threadbare sofa asked. Music drifted from an ancient radio on a scarred wood table.
The girl didn’t answer but stared blankly at the man.
Slightly unnerved, he cleared his throat, “Well don’t just stand there, dance for me.” He leered at her.
As though a puppet master had yanked on her strings, she immediately started swaying her hips. She closed her eyes and lost herself to the beat and started when she felt a sweaty hand enclose her left wrist like a cuff.
She opened her eyes and met the man’s rheumy ones. He smiled at her and pulled her closer. “Let’s dance together,” he whispered.
She stood stock still as his hands drifted to the top of her dress.
He began to rip it with well practiced motions.
The knife slid between his ribs like through butter and found new lodgings in his heart.
For a breath catching moment, he kept right on ripping but then stopped abruptly.
He began to sag to the ground and his weight pulled her down with him.
She slid her arms around him in what was reminiscent of a lover’s embrace and gently lowered him to the floor.
He went along willingly and leaning back, stared into her emotionless eyes. His were wide and disbelieving. He said his final word “Obiageli.” It was both a question and a plea for help.
She smiled down at him as he choked on his own blood, a dark angel helping the lost soul along. She said in a light sing song voice, “What’s wrong, Papa? Tired already? Won’t you dance with me some more?”