Lost Angels Ch. 04byIkay©
Venus did not die. Probably the potency of the drink had kept her alive or the fact that the stab wounds were shallow and mostly superficial even though she had lost a lot of blood. Tony arrived at the marsh on time and had taken her to a private clinic, which had treated her immediately and had nursed her back to health.
What made Tony lie to Isabelle about Venus' fate were the things Venus was screaming in derision when he found her. She said she would "Kill Messalina." That statement intrigued him because he knew the girls had formed a cult of that name according to Isabelle's big mouth and he immediately caught on that Venus wanted to slay them all even in her pitiable state.
He was right. Venus told him on her hospital bed that she was consumed with hatred for her 'sisters' especially Vera who had organized the hit. Tony told her to relax. Revenge, he told her, was a dish best eaten cold.
Tony was a sick man. His disease was not the ordinary body devouring ailments or mind distorting dilemmas. His disease was acute pervasion. He was someone who believed that women should not be classed as human beings but among other lesser animals (afterall, he argued to himself, they only formed part of man's ribs according to the Holy Bible). He always fantasized about maltreating and murdering them and if he didn't do so he would not be able to sleep. These fantasies were his bread and butter and he could never actually convert those diabolical thoughts to reality.
Tony Ani did not have a rosy childhood. Most people didn't, even the successful ones, but Tony's childhood was in a class of its own. He was the last born in a family of six excluding his parents. He was the only boy and had come into the world long after his parents had given up hope of having a male child. But that didn't make them happy.
His dad, Simon Ani, worked as a driver for one of the big oil companies before he was laid off due to injuries sustained in a car crash involving the company car and another vehicle. Ever since then he never had a stable, gainful means of employment and constantly vented his frustration on his wife, Patty and his six kids.
Simon was very prone to slapping Patty about. Even though he was very skinny, he was as hard and as flexible as a rawhide whip and his flying fists could barely be followed with the naked eye. But his beatings did not quell Patty's constant nagging.
Patty in sharp contrast to her husband was short, squat and heavily built but had a high-pitched mosquito voice that did not go with her looks. When Simon was not whacking her she whacked the kids.
Tony's five sisters were all big, strong girls and since he was the last born and the only boy they constantly beat the living daylights out of him. Probably it was in retaliation for what their father did to their mother. There were many days when he hid under the bed to escape being killed.
The physical torture ended when his sisters grew up and left home but the psychological torture was far from over.
His dad's frustration seemed to have an inverse effect on his libido and he quenched his urge on his wife in the most barbaric way possible. The young Tony would watch through cracks on the wall of his parents' bedroom as Simon regularly subjected Patty to intense sodomy.
Simon would kneel her down and demand that she performed fellatio on him (no hands please!) and if she blundered he would use his belt on her. If he was in a lighter mood, he would order her to sleep on the floor.
Sometimes if she annoyed him in the morning he would first beat her silly then kneel her down (keep your hands in the air, Bitch!) and warned her not to move till he came back in the evening. When he finally came back he demanded for his pre-bedtime blowjob again otherwise she would remain kneeling for the rest of the night.
Finally one day Tony got wise like his sisters and fled his parent's home. He was just eleven years old.
Apart from being a policeman, organizing a prostitution ring gave him a sense of power. It made him feel important that they depended on him for their daily bread. He always fantasized about the girls, especially Isabelle and the Twins but he didn't have the courage to make any move. Now the opportunity had fallen into his lap and he couldn't believe his luck. He could now finally convert his fantasies to reality.
He took Venus into his home and informed her that the others thought she was dead. Now it would be good to change her identity. She suggested to him that she dress as a man. She was an excellent actress at school, always the best at school plays and when she acted male roles no one could tell the difference. So she meticulously transformed herself to a male by cutting her hair and using make-up facial hairs. She decided to wear dark shades because she could never hide her eyes.
Next she needed a job so that she could have something to occupy her while they planned her revenge. Tony met the management of Sandy's Bar and got her a job as the bartender. She needed a name so she called herself Ani L. Assem, which was Messalina spelt backwards so that she wouldn't forget it.
The next move was dicey. Tony decided to introduce Ani as his assistant in the business and he set up a meeting with Messalina. It went unbelievably smoothly. No one recognized her even her own sister. Anyway they thought she was dead. When Tony asked them what had happen to Venus he was told by Vera that she had run off to America with a white man. He didn't press the point and he glanced quickly at Isabelle who was not looking herself. Poor bitch, he thought if they found out that she had told him what happened they would kill her.
Tony told Venus to wait for one year until they had got used to her new identity.
"Then you can strike at will, " he said smiling.
Venus did not return the smile. She had long since forgotten how to. All that burned in her mind was hate.
Isabelle's life was falling apart. The school authorities had discovered that Messalina existed and promptly had them all expelled. Competition was increasing in the business and she was not so rich anymore. Venus' ghost was haunting her dreams every night. Then she remembered Alex.
She at last came to see him and he took her into his arms like a lost love. After three weeks as lovers, she decided that she would leave the Messalina cult and start a new life with Alex.
And that was what she did.
She shunned the rest of the members and moved on with him. They could not dare harm her since she was now living with an oil worker and oil workers were like gods in Kebby Creek. She did not have to worry too much. The Messalina cult disbanded soon after her defection.
A year is past and now I am ready to start my crusade. All those who tried to kill me that night would suffer dearly for their actions. As for Isabelle I might or might not let her live. Let her conscience punish her instead. But for you my sister I will make you suffer as I have suffered. Nothing can prevent the punishment that has been designed for you.
The first victim was Agnes. There was no particular reason why I chose her first. Maybe it's because I knew she would be the easiest to kill.
Agnes was a 'big' girl in the literary sense of the word. She had big tits, a big ass and a big mouth. She also had a crush on my sister and me. At first I didn't understand why she participated in the attack but I guess she felt if she had one then she didn't need the other .I knew Vera sometimes played dirty with her but I never had the time. Well I could start today. Time is on my side.
I phoned her at where she worked as a secretary in some chap's cheap office. She had got the job strictly by giving her boss quality time during a charade of an interview. Agnes was someone who didn't know what the word shame meant even when her perverted employer sodomized her with a select range of office implements.
So I booked a date with her for the evening and I drove to the venue on time to pick her up. She was wearing a tight dress that offset her lascivious figure to heart stopping effect.
"Where are we going?" she asked as I set off down the road.
"To where we all used to meet."
"Why there? You know we don't like going there ever since the incident."
"Trust me, Darling, where's your sense of adventure?"
She giggled nervously but I could see she was getting agitated.
Eventually I parked the car at a remote spot near the marshland.
"For goodness sake" squealed Agnes, "What are we doing here? Let's leave this place!"
I turned to look at her. The look in my eyes froze her.
"Don't you know the sins of the past will always haunt us?" I said slowly, deliberately, "And most times they destroy our future."
Agnes didn't understand but her terror visibly increased.
"Vera, what's wrong with you? She wailed, "Why are you talking like this?"
"Agnes, Baby, why do you keep calling me Vera? Are you sure you are not mistaking me for someone else?"
The penny dropped. Agnes stared at me with a mixture of disbelief and horror on her face and her eyeballs rolled up to her forehead. She slumped untidily against the car seat. She had passed out clean. I stared at her with amusement. She was easier than I thought.
Isabelle's nightmares had started again. It got so bad that she would wake up screaming in the middle of the night scaring the socks of Alex. One night after a particularly bad nightmare she confessed everything to him.
"Please forgive me, Alex" she cried as tears rolled unabated down her cheeks, "It was the Devil in control then. I really am repentant now but I'm very scared. I feel the victims of these murders were my former 'sisters'."
"How can you be sure?" asked Alex calmly, "the victims are beyond recognition."
"I see them in my dreams. I can see each of them lying in the marsh in the same way Venus was. It must be them."
"Then who is responsible?"
"I don't know. I really don't know."
"How can I help?"
"I just want you to understand."
Alex sat back against the pillow and contemplated a while, his face screwed in thought.
"I think I know someone that can help us. The police are out of the question because they might just arrest you as a suspect if they have a slightest inclination that you are involved. I will have to call my friend Caesar."
"Caesar?" she asked surprised, "Who's that?"
"A very close friend of mine. We went through primary, Secondary and University education together."
"Is Caesar his real name?"
"Not really, but that's a long story."
"How can he help?"
"Let me tell you something about this guy. Caesar is a jaded young man with a difficult past. Throughout his life he was always had encounters with strange people. For example he found to his chagrin that his first girlfriend in Secondary school was a Satanist.
"In university he had a long friendship with a senior lecturer who was his mentor only for him to discover that the old man was a child molester. Throughout his campus years he was stalked by members of the Complalanche confraternity. They wanted him to join them. He was tall, fine, intelligent and rich. His mom is a minister in this country. These were all the requirements the cult needed for someone to join them but he shunned them. Back then you couldn't say no to the Complalanche and live, but he outwitted them, right until he graduated. He is a reporter now and he is doing quite well.
"You must have heard about the murder of Peter Marquis. He was the reporter who stumbled on the killer. Nowadays though he continuously steeps himself in controversy which has always been his way of life. He's been interested in solving crimes right from the tender age when we were reading 'Hardy Boys" and Nancy Drew. If there's anyone who can help you, he can."
"Are you just going to call him and tell him to come to Kebby Creek?"
"No I have a better idea. I will call him and act like I know something about the killings. I will tell him to come to town to receive information and arrange to run into him. Then everything will be fine."
"Are you sure he will help?"
"Positive. Once I tell him the government is involved he'll come down here in a jiffy. He hates the government with a passion. I suspect it also has something to do with the frosty relationship he has with his mother."
Alex picked up the phone and, after dialing his old friend's number, stretched a handkerchief over the mouthpiece.
Undisclosed Location, Kebby Creek
Caesar painfully opened his eyes and groaned. His head was feeling like it had been given the mortar and pestle treatment. He suddenly aware that he was bound hand and foot and was stuffed inside a container. The stink of fuel and the trundle of rubber told him the container was in fact the boot of a car.
He heard a sound that made him jump. Someone winced behind him. He couldn't see who it was but he knew it was Vera. She was slightly on top of him, both of them lay in the boot like sacks of potatoes and they were now been driven to some unknown destination.
The final destination, he thought morbidly. No doubt about it they were going to be disposed of.
He tried to struggle against his bonds. Nil. He was trussed up good and tight like a Christmas turkey ready to have its throat slit.
He stretched his fingers out and he touched Vera's own fingers. Her fingers moved.
"Vera!" he whispered urgently, "Vera!"
She groaned in pain.
"Vera listen to me" he continued desperately, "We have to get out of here!"
"Caesar, is it you?"
"Yes, it's me."
"We're inside the boot of a car" she whispered in horror, "Where are they taking us?"
"I don't know" admitted Caesar, "And I don't think you will want to know."
"Oh God" she wailed pitifully, "They 're going to kill us!"
Her whining suddenly irritated Caesar.
"Shut up and listen" he said roughly, "Your fingers can reach the cord around my wrists. Try and untie them. Claw at them with your nails if you have to. Now!"
She winced her obedience and shifted towards him. Her long fingers found his wrists and they at once began to work on the rope. Soon she began to claw at them in a frenzied manner and Caesar gritted his teeth with pain as the nails scratched his skin, slicing into it with the smoothness of razors. He could feel blood trickling down his wrists into his palms.
Ten minutes later Caesar thought he felt the ropes slackening but suddenly he noticed that the car was slowing down.
"Shit!" he swore "We're stopping. Just keep calm."
The car came to a halt and Caesar heard doors opening and slamming. The lid of the boot was opened and a flashlight was aimed at their eyes.
"Evening, boys and girls" Tony's voice said jovially, "We've reached the venue of the party. Sorry you two couldn't travel first class but I'm sure you'll understand."
Strong hands reached inside and Caesar felt himself being roughly hauled out. He was tossed carelessly on the soggy ground and soon Vera's body landed on top of him. The air was knocked completely out of him after both impacts and he lay there stunned.
When he got back his breath he looked around him. He expected them to end up at the marshes but instead he saw trees all around him.
"Where are we?" he asked curiously.
"An evil forest" said Tony "One of the many all over Delta State. People normally dump corpses of robbers, foreigners or outcasts here. Most locals think the place is cursed and haunted so they don't come here often. Come to think of it never."
"What are you going to do to us?" Caesar asked tensely.
"You guys are going to be buried out here" he said cheerfully, "No one will even find your bodies in a hundred years from now and by that time you two should be doing something useful, like forming part of this town's crude oil."
"And you think you'll get away with this?"
"Why shouldn't we? Of course we will. Venus here will go back to town and take the place of her sister. Everyone will think she's Vera anyway. Now shut up I have some digging to do."
He went to the back seat pulled out a shovel. He turned to Venus who had been watching the scene with mild interest.
"Venus" he said softly "Why don't you sit in the car. You might not want to see all this."
"I want to watch," she said coldly. Tony shrugged and went over to a spot and began to dig.
Vera who had been whimpering quietly to herself suddenly screamed out.
"Venus, please don't do this to me!" she begged. "You are my twin sister!"
The only reaction on Venus face was a slight smile.
"Is that so?" she said, an unholy gleam in her eye. "One year ago you didn't think that. Now all your treachery will be buried with you. Goodbye, my sister."
"Please don't" Vera wailed pitifully. Venus began to laugh maniacally. Caesar cringed. What the blazes had he got himself into?
The sound of digging was the only thing that could be heard in the forest. The forest seemed dead, devoid of life. No creature moved. Everything was still.
Caesar tried to undo his bonds but he couldn't make himself so apparent. Venus was watching them unblinkingly. She looked like a cat out of Hell.
Soon the shallow grave was finished and Tony threw down the shovel and came towards where they lay helplessly. One by one he picked each of them up bodily and tossed them into the pit.
As Caesar lay choking on the soft earth, he felt dirt being piled on top of him. They were being buried alive!
Vera went into hysterics and continued to scream and scream.
"Scream all you want, sister," said Venus sweetly, "No one but us can hear you."
Caesar struggled furiously with his bonds, the cords slackened and eventually he managed to wriggle his wrists free. By this time they were already half buried. He bent forward and yanked out the cords on his ankles. He managed to pull them off just as Tony noticed he was free.
Tony snarled and raised the shovel as Caesar struggled to his feet. He was aiming to split his head open. Caesar reached out of the hole and grabbed Tony's ankles. He pulled viciously and Tony gave a yell as he was yanked into the hole. The shovel came with him.
Caesar lashed out and socked the young policeman on the jaw. The blow nearly felled him but Tony's fist came up on his chin and he keeled over and fell on top of Vera who was crying her heart out.
Tony picked up the shovel and raised it again. Venus ran to the edge of the pit to watch.
The shovel came down hard and Caesar shot up a foot to deflect the blow, which would have flattened his face. He rolled over and got up and forming his fingers into a blade, stabbed Tony in the solar plexus. Tony gasped and doubled over. Caesar clasped his to fists together and raising his arms above his head, brought it down like a mallet on Tony's skull. Tony flattened out at the bottom of the pit. Caesar went over to him and pulled out the gun in his waist band. Venus saw his action and spun around and fled.
Caesar climbed out of the pit and saw Vera heading towards the trees.
"Stop or I shoot!" he yelled at the retreating figure as he raised the gun. But he might have been talking to the trees. Venus had vanished.
Kebby Creek Divisional Police Headquarters
July 15, Tuesday, 09:17
Inspector Musa was not feeling comfortable. He was about due to meet the DPO and fill him in on the latest findings on the case, which of course was non-existent. The D.P.O.'s deadline would expire this morning and he knew he was in big trouble. Where the hell was Tony anyway? Why was it always him that took the brunt?
An officer came up to him as he stood brooding and handed him a parcel. Some strange man had given it to him in front of the station, he said, and had told him to give it to Inspector Musa.
Musa cautiously unfolded the brown wrapping paper, his eyes bright with curiosity. Inside were an audiocassette tape and a note. It said: