Lost Angels Ch. 04byIkay©
Chapter 04: Revelations
Author's Note: Sorry it took so long to get the final chapter out. Thanks for your comments, I really appreciate them and I would love to know what you think of the ending.
Caesar felt like a cornered rat. He knew there was no chance of drawing his gun on time.
"Tony." He said jovially, "Fancy seeing you here."
"I hope I am not interrupting an intimate moment here" Tony said grinning, waving the gun playfully.
"You were and that's unfair. You're right, Venus is cute. By the way where's her sister?"
"Cooling off in the bedroom. Venus, find something else to put on."
She got up and after giving Caesar a murderous glare stalked off.
"I don't think she approves of your rough manner," Tony continued pleasantly as he sat on a chair opposite Caesar. The Luger was rock steady, pointing at his heart.
"She was becoming stubborn" Caesar said with a sigh, "Her sister's much easier to handle. Do you mind putting that thing away? It makes me nervous."
"Sorry, can't be helped."
"Mind if I smoked?"
"Go ahead but easy now."
Caesar put his hand inside his jacket pocket; fumbled around and brought out a packet of Benson & Hedges. Fishing out a stick he lit it with a lighter which he also produced.
"Want one?" He asked, offering the packet to Tony.
"No thanks. Cancer kills faster than guns, don't you think?"
"Nah. Thanks for enlightening me though."
"I guess you must be expecting an explanation."
Caesar raised his hands and grinned.
"Brother, you must be the master of the understatement."
So Tony told him while Caesar listened with growing horror.
"Venus would pretend she was Vera or Ani and pick each of the girls with a different story every time. They feared and trusted her and did whatever she said. That's why it was so easy. So Caesar you were right. The victims did know the killer. She drugged them with chloroform and took them to the marshes then sliced them up there. She cut off their breasts so that the tattoos wouldn't identify them and bashed them up as well. But we knew Vera would suspect that her friends were being murdered anyway. Isabelle was let off the hook since she was the one that told me to try and save Venus. She was never in any real danger. Venus thought she was small fry anyway. But Vera was marked for death. She would be the final victim and suffer the most violent murder of all the sisters.
"I acted as the clean up man. I covered up any tracks she left and screwed the corpses to make it certain that the cops thought that killer was a man. So Alex didn't know how right he was when he said I preferred dead girls. Ever screwed a stiff before, Caesar?"
He was talking derisively, his eyes dilating.
"You're a sick bastard" said Caesar horrified.
"But you were wrong, Caesar and I was right. I am the serial killer. I organized their murders. You thought it wasn't possible but here is your psychopath in the flesh. And I really did enjoy taking those pictures. Those photos really gave me pleasure."
Caesar released a barrage of curses at him.
"Yeah yeah. Thanks. Now get up."
Caesar got up slowly. His mind was working furiously.
He obeyed. A bullet in the back? His body automatically braced itself for the shock of the blow.
Nope, not a bullet but the gun butt crashing down on his skull.
The sun sank slowly into the distant horizon bathing the serene landscape in a brilliant reddish orange hue. As Isabelle trudged uncertainly up the rough, pebbled road towards the picturesque blocks of classrooms that spread out before her, she felt that old deep dread creep yet again into her heart. These old white washed buildings always greeted her every morning as she came up this same road every day. They heralded a start to a bad day at school.
She moved slowly through the vast compound and made her way to a smaller block of classrooms that looked newer than the rest, it had been donated a few years earlier by some traditional ruler of a town in Delta State Town. The desks and seats were newer, the glass louvers were still in place and the black board still looked black. Isabelle had a psychological belief that the new building would enhance her swotting. The classroom she chose was not swept but tidy. She sat at a desk at the front and placed her oil lamp and books on the polished wooden surface. She glared apprehensively at the textbooks. Physics chemistry. Maths, she hated those three subjects with the same intensity that she hated unwanted pregnancies. Academics had always scared the life out of her especially science subjects. Biology she could even tolerate but the other three drove her up a wall.
Physics sounded okay until it went into equations, Chemistry was like Yiddish to her and the overall king pin -- Maths... well their mutual hatred for each other was unequaled.
Inevitably since she had a sour relationship with the numbers racket it transferred also to the people that propagated it.
Math teachers. Isabelle could not remember one Maths Teacher she did not hate with a passion. Mr Enuku and his long, scrawny neck, Madam Omatseye with her immense buttocks and Miss Pepe, a bloody bitch in full bloom with her thick goggles and jeering, raspy voice.
Each of these devils she could feed half a kilo of strychnine and sit back, relax and watch with pleasure as they puked their insides out.
She could not however waste precious time having homicidal fantasies so she opened the first of her textbooks and buried her head into it.
Two hours later the sun had long since been swallowed in the distant marshland and darkness covered the school compound like a blanket. The only illumination was the oil lamp, which had burnt bravely since but would soon be out of oil. Isabelle would soon have to call it a day. She sat up and stretched luxuriously, her young hillocks jutting out impressively behind the cheap fabric of her dormitory blouse. As she glanced through the window nearest to her she thought she saw a brief flash of a tiny red light. It was gone so quickly she decided she must have imagined it. Anyway it made her decide to rush back to the dormitory. She was suddenly feeling very alone.
As she hurried out of the classroom she saw two figures standing near by. Instant terror seized her. Ritual killers were common in these parts and there had been cases of a few students who disappeared and were never seen again or even worse were found not in one piece. The fact that she might join the statistic petrified her.
"Who's that?" demanded one of the shadowy figures. They were smoking. That explained the red light she had seen. It was a female voice that had called out to her. That reduced her fears only by an iota.
"It's me, Isabelle" she replied nervously, "I am in SSII."
"Aah. Belle. I know you" said the other figure.
As they walked into the light of her lamp she recognized them immediately.
The Twins. Two notorious sisters from SSIII that were as intelligent as rocket scientists and as black as midnight. However it was their eyes that were their most notable feature. Glassy huge things that were as cold as the Antarctic and as empty as the Dead Sea. Eyes that could kill. Isabelle doubted they even blinked. There was not one student, even members of staff who did not fear the Twins. They could do and undo.
"What are you doing all alone out here at this time of the night, Darling" one of them asked, "Do you want to get yourself killed?"
"I...I was reading for.. for a test," she stammered.
"You should read in your room," suggested the other. "A lot of bad things happen to little girls like you at this hour especially if you are found alone here."
"I know. I'm sorry. Let me be on my way."
"We can't do that." One of them said as they inched closer to her,
"You could get hurt and that will remain on my conscience forever. And I like keeping my conscience clean. Don't we like keeping our consciences clean, Vera?"
"Of course, Venus of course."
They were at either side of her sizing her up, their unholy eyes bored into her soul. Isabelle started shaking. Sweat ran freely down her face and her uniform was already drenched, her knees felt like buckling. She had never been so scared in her life.
There was a rumour that the twins had once killed a male teacher. He had always been a pain in the neck for everyone, even the other teachers. He was a misogynist and enjoyed flogging the daylights out of the students at the slightest provocation. He chose to lean on the Twins after they came late to assembly on a particular day and gave them hell ever since. One day he just vanished into thin air. A week later his head was found under a tree. A lot people put two and two together but there was no concrete proof. Now here they were, breathing down her neck.
"Say you're very beautiful" commented Venus. "She should be the prettiest girl in SSII."
"I envy her a lot" added Vera,
"What if some bad man sees her as she is going back and takes advantage of her? Probably beat her up and make her un-pretty?"
"That will be too bad."
Isabelle did not say a word. She felt this whole experience was unreal. Like it was some kind of nightmare
"You know what darling?" said Venus smiling like a shark "we will walk you home."
"Yes" agreed Venus "So no one messes with your pretty face. Is it okay with you?"
"It's okay with me. Thank you."
She thought she was going to faint.
In the end they did just what they said they would do: walk her home. They escorted her to her room, joked with her while her roommates stared at them with awe and left after telling her to have sweet dreams. She did not have sweet dreams. She had nightmares.
Fate had decided that Isabelle's chance meeting with the Twins would not end that night. Instead it blossomed into an unlikely friendship. Suddenly Isabelle's status charged. She noticed that people's attitude towards her had changed from teasing to a healthy respect. Nobody messed around with the chubby, shy, pretty girl in SSII. She had become untouchable.
She gained from the Twins in every aspect. They coached her in her academic work and she performed excellently in tests and exams. They taught her how to walk and talk like a big girl. They taught her things that her mother, whoever she was, would never teach her. They treated her like a sister. Isabelle began to enjoy a new kind of life. A life where you finally found yourself accepted in a family. A family of your very own in a school for orphans, it was something she thought she would never have.
One day Venus (Isabelle could never tell the difference between them but they wore different hairstyles to help identification) pulled her aside and told her that they were going to have a midnight party with some friends.
"All SSIII girls, honey," she drooled, "You are the only SSII girl invited so don't let us down. I'II come to pick you up anyway."
"Okay, Venus. Anything you say."
"That's my girl."
Isabelle did not know exactly what she expected. May be a small groove involving Blessed mother girls and St. Peters Boys, the male equivalent of their school. Probably held in some classroom with a stereo blasting out some taped disco music. She was not prepared for what she met.
The party was held in Hotel Excelis, the costliest hotel in Kebbi Creek. The Twins had provided her and six other girls with black, short, strapless dresses and had given them some weird concoction to drink. Isabelle was to find out later that it was a potent cocktail of gin, stout, orange juice and marijuana. For the rest of the day she was as high as the noonday sun.
The girls assembled in an exquisitely furnished hotel suite, which looked like paradise to Isabelle. Cigarettes were passed round and the Twins informed them they were to wait. Isabelle wondered what was going on. A faint idea was struggling for attention in the back of her mind but she refused to give it audience. The whole situation looked so unreal and she couldn't believe she was involved in it.
Later some men arrived at the suite. It was with some shock that she realized they were oil workers. My God, she moaned to herself, what had she got herself into?
The party started and the men, most of they young, moved around choosing their partners with leers permanently fastened to their faces. Isabelle cringed as she saw the way they grabbed and dragged the girls around, then she spied one of the men zeroing on her like a torpedo from an enemy submarine. Now I've had it, she thought with finality.
The man was a tall, reedy fellow with a pair of glasses perched precariously on his beak like nose with a cruel, Caucasian-like line of a mouth slashed underneath.
His small but intelligent eyes were studying her curiously as he approached and Isabelle watched him with apprehension.
"Hi" he said in a friendly voice. At least he didn't grab me, she thought, "Like to dance?"
"Yes," she croaked uncertainly "Sure"
Some highlife music was filtering from hidden speakers and any space available in the suite was occupied by dancing couples. Mr Four Eyes gently led her by the wrist to a vacant spot and faced her. She started to dance awkwardly while he followed suit with mild amusement playing on his lips.
"So," Four Eyes started, clearing his throat, "What's your name?"
"Mmm. Isabelle. That's a pretty name but I guess people tell you that all the time. Can I call you Belle?"
"Yes, you can."
"So Belle, what are you doing here?"
"What do you mean?" she asked surprised at the question, "I'm here for the party,"
"But you are not really part of this crowd are you?" He waved his hand at the other couples, "I don't think you belong here."
"How do you know that?" she asked irritably.
"Because you look different."
"How do I look different? "she demanded
"You look like a nice girl."
"Nice girl? What makes the other girls not nice?"
"It's like diamonds and pearls" the man said smoothly as he danced, "Diamonds are rough with sharp edges that can cut very easily and they are extremely hard. Pearls are smooth and round. Yet both are very expensive to get. So you are a pearl."
"I see," she said smiling she looked round at the other men who were practically manhandling the other girls. "I suppose I can safely say the same for you."
He laughed. Isabelle noticed for the first time that he was actually good looking.
The rest of the night was spent dancing, drinking and smoking. Before they left for the dormitory the man slipped a card into her hand.
"Call me." He said softly, "Anytime."
Later on Isabelle peeked at it when nobody else was looking.
He worked for the Shell Petroleum Development Company and he was engineer. His name was Alex Uzezi.
Isabelle still did not have any reason to worry about her relationship with the Twins until two weeks later when things took a dramatic turn. As usual it was Venus who met her and told her of yet another clandestine adventure they were to embark on: a midnight picnic near the creek.
Isabelle was instantly horrified.
"But what if something happens to us out there?" she moaned to the older girl.
"We'll be fine" Venus replied smiling devilishly, "It's going to be fun. Ooh... picnic in the dark."
The Twins word was law and Isabelle obeyed.
That night they scaled the school wall as usual and made their way to a deserted primary school compound. The place was the spookiest place Isabelle had ever seen in her life.
A big fire was lit and food was spread out on a blanket. Venus passed a drink round and Isabelle discovered to her chagrin that it was the same drink that had been served at the party. Then suddenly every thing went wild.
They danced round a fire to the beating of some drums they brought along then they began to attack each other. Isabelle found herself flat on the ground with two girls slapping the living daylights out of her, both oblivious to her screams of agony. Then Venus brought out a knife and went round, slashing at random. Isabelle was shocked not by the pain as the blade sliced the tender skin of her arm but the sheer demonic savagery that burned in Venus eyes as she performed the act.
The dripping blood from all the girls was collected in a bowl and passed round for all to drink. Then the dancing resumed. The Twins then ordered them all to strip their clothes off and Isabelle watched in helpless horror as they began to rape each other.
By the time she got back the dormitory Isabelle was a psychological wreck. She was very sick for the next two weeks.
A month later the twins took the girls to a strange man who, with lecherous precision, designed tattoos on the underside of their left breasts; the tattoo was that of a black widow spider. The Messalina Cult was born.
There was a guy who linked the girls up with jobs. These 'jobs' were normally parties or one-night affairs with oil workers or anyone who had the money to pay for their services. He was a nice chap, liked to joke with the girls and helped them out with any problems they had. What made him even more invaluable to the girls was that he was a cop. They called him Tony. He and Isabelle eventually became close friends.
He organized a partnership between him and the Messalina cult. He would link them up with clients and they would pay him commission. The partnership worked fine for both parties involved and it was a successful venture. Before Isabelle knew what was happening she had become a member of the most powerful prostitution ring in Kebby Creek and she earned more money than she could ever dream of.
The cult had their rules. All money and gifts from the business were brought and shared equally among the members. No boyfriends were allowed and that was why Isabelle was reluctantly avoiding Alex's invitations. The blood communion was ruthlessly observed. Venus insisted that it made sure they remained sisters. Isabelle was not complaining, she was having the time of her life and that shy little girl had turned into a woman.
But it's when everything is going right then you know something si going to go wrong. After three months of smooth operation, Venus, the one who started it all, announced to the other members that she was leaving the cult. This announcement was upsetting especially as she was the one who decreed the final rule of Messalina: Death was the only way out of the cult.
A council of war was held in Venus' absence and the facts were laid bare. Venus had met a white man during one of her jobs. The man had fallen in love and had asked for her hand in Marriage. She had agreed. He was to take her back to Texas the following month. Vera was sick with rage (also, Isabelle suspected, jealousy) and informed the rest that Vera had to be punished according to her own law. Capital punishment, Isabelle thought, Vera was going to die. She had never bargained for this. So that was how the nightmare began.
Vera invited Venus over for a send off party so that the members could officially wish her well (after all, we are all sisters, she said emotionally). It was to be a midnight picnic like on the initiation night. Isabelle had expected Venus to be much smarter but she guessed Venus never imagined her twin sister to go against her and Vera always seemed the more layback twin. Indeed.
That night was the worst night in Isabelle's life and the memories would remain with her to the grave. Once again the fire was lit and they danced themselves to a demonic frenzy. Then Vera brought out a dagger and the bloodletting began, only this time it was directed at Venus.
Isabelle could not count how many times Venus was stabbed. She had sunk in her own knife too ("Even you, Brutus" she remembered crossed her mind at that moment") and she could distinctly remember the warm, sticky blood running down her fingers and her arm. Later they took her to the marsh and dumped her there. Isabelle knew she might never sleep again in her life and she made one desperate attempt to save her sanity. That night she sneaked out and made a call in a 24 -- hour call centre to Tony and told him what happened. He promised to go and rescue her. Two days later she phoned again and Tony told her that the crocodiles had taken Venus.