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Checkmate by Ebube Ezeadum.

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You get to your house, twist a key and your door fell backward on its hinge. You dropped your briefcase on the chair and while pulling apart your curtains, releasing the breeze into your home, your eyes guide your other hand as you open the new mail on your phone that begged your attention. This mail came from an email that made you make the face you would make when solving advanced calculus in mathematics. There is a file attached named, “Checkmate.” You’re curious. Checkmate? You were rather expecting a contract from Facebook. As the body of the mail, you see this in bold:

I’d advise you to urgently and uninterruptedly read through this letter.

You click the file. It takes a second or two to load, you crash to the sofa nearest to you. The documents opens before your eyes. You squint against the brilliant white screen with thin black characters.

“Dear Sir.

It’s finally good to meet you once again on paper, Mr. Samuel Dray. Or should I say, Mr. Alex Brukali Oghenero? Surprised? You need not be. In fact, you of all people should know that no secrets last forever, most especially when you make careless mistakes. Your only mistake should have been your running away from StainlessSteal, but, who cares? You’re worthless to the team. Your discarding yourself by yourself was the most profitable thing that had ever happened in the history of our gang. The grassland of your folly, however, was when you tried to frame me up for the death of Senator Mike. You don’t even know my real name, you should have thought it better than this. You’re an island of stupidity! Yes, a valley of mental barrenness. Who breaks into a politician house by 4:25am? Who does that trash? And for the love of whatever makes you a supposedly sane man, why would you scatter the seed of your fingerprint over his daughter’s bed? Why would you waste your futureless semen in her underground cave? Must you enter anything that has an orifice?! Your mother should have named you Mr. Penetrating Perpetrator — whoever she was.

I lost $600,000 from one of my bank account. Accolades to your supremacy! But you know what? That’s the smartest failure you have ever achieved — or would ever achieve — in your vain life, you pest!

Last month, the printed papers stole your name and face as the first to purchase the Tesla model X20 Proxy 2. Shit! I would rather my money got burned by wildfire or sank into the Indians than have a demi-semi-child finger it. Anyway, Mr. Profligate, you made it just as easy for me to catch you.

Nonetheless, I must force my lips to spit out your praise in one case. Your setting up the death of Dr. Akintunde was a-not-too-bad one, after all. I don’t know how you made him sign the half a Billion dollars hospital fund cheque, how you married his neck to the cow rope that dangled beneath his ceiling, how you thought of the beans and rice bag tactics, how you perfectly planned your escape through the sewage. How you made the entire media conclude it was an act of suicide for not saving a patient that was rumored to be having an affair with him. Man! I would say, that was good. And certainly, I would have forgiven you for your slight hop unto the stool of brilliance.

But once again, you spoiled your little smart act with your libidinous mentality. The story shouldn’t have had the house maid as one of its characters! Noo! You would probably die of AIDS before the policemen ever catch you. But, let’s not jump into conclusion yet, shall we?”

You slouch forward as though your phone was pulling your face in with an invisible string. Your palms quiver and your heart dances noisily. How did he know?.

“At this point, I am most certain, you are worried about how I got to secure, within my cranium, so much personal info about you. The thing is: everyone makes a mistake. Even members of our gangs, as you know, have done things differently that cost the life of one or two of us. Yet, what is graver than the mountainous mistake of letting your blue diary share the same bed with the harlot you had your hormonal full with. Yeah, you recall right. The one who called herself J. Y Triangle. No I.D. Yeah, the one with a violin tattoo slightly above her navel; I hope that description is enough to sieve her out of the rest of your…

You were more focused on the goals of passing through the gates of her lower limbs than about her identity. Women, of all distractions! Alex, If I were to ever advice you, please get a grass-mowing job. Theft was never your talent. Even if you were trained by the best, you’d still be a waster of precious oxygen on our planet. And yes, your Diary wasn’t thrown into the bin by accident. Or should I say, it was thrown into my bin — the bin of my palm by the white lady with the violin tattoo. At least your handwriting showers me with a pinch of hope in your usefulness to your family — if you had even been able to raise one. I knew women were your weakest strength and so I didn’t sweat wasting any careless bullets on you. Your existence alone bears enough of my loss. Why waste more?

Before I end this self-destruct mail, I just wanna let you know that your pot of serial successes has been broken today and the breeze of defeat has finally soaked in.

Your underground escape is no longer a below-the-carpet secret. Don’t bother using that route. Some detectives are already smoking some cheap cigar around the exit stabbing the time-teller on their left wrist with their eyes.

Don’t try jumping from the window — I know you’re smarter than that. Unless you want to prove me wrong — again. Just dress up in a hooded cardigan. Yes, wear your girlfriend’s own — the pink and fluffy white one. That’s the only way you can come out to me. I’d be waiting for you at the Surest Sugar coffee shop down the street. And good heavens, my guys are watching you — don’t expect to see men waiting around in black suit. Everyone is a sweet suspect, Alex. Any attempt to run or mess up earns you a couple blood-releasing points into your skin straight up. In the rucksack your last one-night stand “forgot” on your bed, bring the following: My $600,000 plus $50,000 compensation for damages, the ruby pendant you got from Mayor Gideon’s wife, the artifact you illegally earned from the museum and the gold bars that lurk within your basement walls, yes, all thirteen of them. And finally, the keys to your expensive four-wheeled darling that betrayed your secrecy. I want to drive her, too. 23, Major Will Road, just two blocks away on the opposite side of the road is the location of the coffee shop for a man who has deceived his neighbors with his supposed “dementia.” We grandmasters call this checkmate in chess. Since we both know that softness is stronger than you, you shouldn’t have played near the thorn bushes. We are both players in the game — too bad you’re at the fallen side.”

P.s. You have till 2:45pm to meet me with those packages or you could wait for the police to flood in by 3pm prompt. My men roam your building. See you when we do.

Yours Stealingly,

Your King.

 

Ezeadum Sixtus Ebube is a 200 Level medical student at the University of Ibadan. He has a long-lasting romantic relationship with creativity and enjoys every variation she offers, most especially, in the aspect of creative writing. He can be reached through ezeadumebube@gmail.com