Damaged Goods (Part 9)- a short story

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Do you love crime fiction? Then this story is all you ever wanted.

 

Please follow the story from here.

Putting the puzzle together

As though bathed in full theatrical spotlight, Efe sat still on the little bed in his small quarters, while the officers pointed out the exact spot, they found the pashmina; under a throw pillow. Oladimeji and two of his field officers cramped into the room that had headroom comfortable only for a midget.

Oladimeji had twice knocked off the LED light fitting, affixed gingerly to the concrete ceiling with his head. He didn’t have so much of a problem bending over in the small room, while his team examined Efe’s room, he just couldn’t tolerate the stench of dried sweat and the filth that caused the room to stink to high heavens.

Standing outside, when they had refreshed their lungs outside by the pool, ridding it of the stench, Oladimeji faced Efe alone.

“Why do you have her scarf with you Efe. You can tell me.”

Efe looked incredibly sober. He kept a healthy distance from the inspector, hoping to evade a slap if it became necessary. He had received a couple already within 24hours since the lock down persisted, and he doubted he could survive another onslaught.

“I found it by the poolside after we found her body. I thought to keep it as memorabilia of our friendship. She was my friend.”

Oladimeji leaned in, “Did you jerk off on that scarf? We found faint traces of dried sperm.”

Efe kept quiet, his face serious as he looked ahead through the DSP as though he was invisible.

“You know you are a very disgusting, repulsive and revolting individual. What the hell got into you?” He swung his arm really hard aiming for his left cheek. Well-timed, but Efe had spent the whole time anticipating that very action and he was well prepared to duck the assault.

The sheer power in the missed swing almost caused the burly man to lose his balance. That even made him angrier, before one of the other officers stepped in to calm the situation down.

Frustrated, Oladimeji walked away from the scene. He had more serious issues to contend with. This spineless pervert and clumsy clodhopper is yet to grow enough balls to kill a chicken, let alone a grown woman; especially one that he seemed to be obsessed about.

Just as he approached the hotel building, it hit him, the pashmina. That smell. It wasn’t just her perfume. It had an ether-like odor with a slightly sweet taste.

He suddenly stopped in his tracks as he tried to recollect the exact name of the chemical.

Anyone watching him from a distance would imagine that he was struck by a sharp piercing headache as he racked his head desperately.

Chloroform! Yes Chloroform. Trichloromethane.” He found his voice. There was no way he could forget that chemical. It was one of the oldest ways to knock anyone unconscious within seconds if inhaled in good enough dose, depending on how concentrated the dose was. Surely that could knock Onono out unconscious for up to an hour or more, before she was rolled into the pool to drown.

That pashmina was the murder weapon.

“That’s it.” He turned to face the pool area. Arrest that idiot.” Even if he wasn’t the killer, he was a pervert that deserved no mercy. Getting off on the scent of the victim and getting high at the same time was a sign of poor mental health.

Not only that, but he had also been all over the crime scene, with his footprint dotting every place, like a silly chump.

He was going to hang all the other crimes on his head when he was done finding the killer.

The killer had to be somewhere in the hotel.

“Do you have a chloroform spray bottle in your evidence box or any such bottle?” he got into a tizzy with an urgent bounce in his stride as he approached the fast-talking officer he had engaged earlier.

“Yes, we found a bottle that could have held the liquid, but we assumed it was used by the dry cleaners.”

“What is your name again Sergeant?” Oladimeji asked with an exaggerated calmness.

“Sergeant Pius, sir.”

“Now, look carefully in that box of yours, tell me where you found that bottle.”?

“Room 408.”

Both men searched each other’s face as they connected the dots. Suddenly a mad chase for the stairwell in the lobby started with Oladimeji and the other officers as they headed straight for the fourth floor.

They ran through the grand spaces of the expansive hotel lobby, that had an open invitation for the lungs to expand. They huffed past the stairwell in exhilarating blur as they stumbled on one another in a bid to get across the steps.

Oladimeji was left panting at the foot of the first floor. His bandy legs promised to collapse if he dared move at the pace of the younger officers.

“Shame on me.” He chided himself. He couldn’t imagine where he got the strength to run. It must be the adrenaline of finding a breakthrough in the case, he concluded.

He leaned on the rail of the staircase, heaving like he had just finished a sprint. All this effort lasted less than a minute. 45 seconds to be precise.

“It’s empty.” He heard the officers announce through the stairwell.

“Search the bloody room.” he managed to say, holding his left chest like it was about to spill its contents.

Catching his breath and a bit of his rational self, he realized that Glory had mentioned something about her boyfriend staying in that room; 408.

“Get me that receptionist called Glory immediately.” He screamed.

Another mad rush started as his officers raced down the stairwell and through the lobby in different directions in search of Oladimeji’s romantic interest.

“Bloody hell!” he muttered as he decided it was best to return to the manager’s office. But something didn’t feel quite right.

He was starting to feel dizzy and disoriented. He couldn’t move his feet until he collapsed into the thickest static of blackness, before rolling down the steps in a heap.

“Must be the food.” he muttered to himself as he went down.

“Glory! Glory!! Glory!!!” You would have thought there was a catholic hymnal chant in the hotel, as every officer on the premise including Nnamdi and a few of the hotel staff, searched for Glory in frenzy.

“Glory!!!”

***

Oladimeji was starting to open his eyes. He must have been out for twenty minutes. He could feel his stomach muscles straining and the thoughts in his head turned from fear to dizzy confusion.

At least he was alive, thankfully.

He spent the next few minutes retching everything he had gobbled down his throat that afternoon. Every morsel of meat and every drop of liquid that slithered down his throat. His mouth tasted raw and bitter.

“You were poisoned dear boss.” Sergeant Pius’ face peered into his as he tried to fill his lungs with air. It still felt like they weren’t even there as he braced himself up on his elbow.

“What happened?” he managed to say cleaning his lips with a saviet paper. “Where is that bitch?”

“We found her at the gate house trying to talk her way through the security personnel. She claimed you had permitted her to get something from the local market down the road.”

“Where is she? She tried to kill me. The little devil.” He coughed, as the pain became worse every time he spoke.

He looked at the wooden first aid box on the office table. All sort of pills and drug sachets had spilled from its belly. He shoved two pills down his throat quickly.

“Take it easy, Sir. We have her in our custody. You need to rest some more.” The sergeant pleaded subtly, showing genuine concern.

“There is no rest until this case is over. What did she put in my food?” He was in unimaginable pain. Every joint felt like they had been taken apart and strung together amateurly.

“We can not ascertain yet, but it wasn’t enough to put you out, sir.”

“Me!” He boasted wearing an awkward smile on his tired face. There was not enough energy to nod his head as usual. “You guys do not know me. Bring her in. I want to speak to her myself.”

Follow this link to the concluding part of the story.

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10 thoughts on “Damaged Goods (Part 9)- a short story”

  1. Pingback: Damaged Goods (Part 8)- a short story – Akin Akingbogun

  2. Pingback: Damaged Goods (Part 10)- the final Episode – Akin Akingbogun

  3. Sowunmi Adedamola

    Hmmmmm… Glory!!!!! You are finished o. So many loose ends. Hope they would be tied together in the last episode. Chai! This suspense is killing.

  4. Adedamola ilori

    Infatuation got the better of Oladimeji, he took too much risk eating from a potential killer. I hope it doesn’t turn into a full regret.

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