Tobi drew in a long breath and exhaled softly as he thought about what he wanted to do. He had no choice, he must do what he must.
The ground was wet and the rain had slowed to drizzles, he could see dawn’s gray light peeking over the horizon, he had to hurry. Time was running fast. He knew where Zik would likely take Leah to, it was a place they both knew, a childhood memory. The guarantee was that Tobi would surely come. He struggled to shut out the memory but it was too late anyways intruding into his private corners and warming its ways into his head.
“Tobi,” the voice called out in his ear. It was the smaller version of Zik, they were just five. Innocent and carefree and also inseparable. The old shack at the back of Tobi father’s house was their favourite place in the whole world whenever Zik’s parents came visiting. They would play make up games for hours with Tobi being the soldier and Zik the civilian. Sometimes they would switch roles but Zik never really fit in the character of the soldier because he was way too small and their toy gun always seemed alien in his hands. Violence terrified him. He was a softie that one.
“Tobi promise you’ll always protect me,” Zik had demanded of him passionately one random day like that and Tobi promised. So it made it all the more surprising that the innocent and compassionate Zik of that time could so easily become a monster. Zik was the last person Tobi could ever think would descend to this depth, Zik would could never kill a rat properly or even hurt a fly. It defied all explanations.
Tobi wiped off the residue of his tears with an angry swipe and headed for home, home where it all started from. The jewel safely tucked in his front pocket within easy reach.
* * * * * * * *
Zik paced around the little room in a state of agitation as he scratched his head continuously. Leah was strapped to a chair and bound hands and legs with a rope while her mouth was gagged with a dirty cloth. Her eyes wore a frightened expression and she spotted a bump on her forehead which had cut open and was now bleeding down her face.
Her fear wasn’t because of her situation; no it was rather because of the person who shared the room with her; because she felt sure this person was certainly not the Zik she knew.
He had been pacing around the little room since they came, muttering some words she couldn’t hear and scratching his head continuously, she was afraid he had finally lost it. This new Zik terrified her. She prayed for Tobi to come like one praying for her Messiah, she prayed harder than she had ever prayed in her whole life as Zik fixed on her an unfocused look with a ghostly smile that sent goosebumps racing down her arms and her heart in overdrive. Then Leah screamed. Loudly.
* * * * *
Tobi ran faster as the sense of urgency increased, it was as if he could hear Leah’s voice calling him, urging him on, he couldn’t stop a moment to catch his breath. He was almost there now, he could see the house afar of.
Then all of a sudden he heard Leah screaming. His blood ran hot and cold at the same time and shock made everything move in slow motion. He increased his pace as he prayed with all his heart that she was alright, he couldn’t imagine her otherwise.
He finally got to the entrance of the shack and kicked the door open with a hard push from his legs startling the occupants of the room. Zik was standing right behind Leah, a knife to her neck, the shine of madness already in his eyes.
“You came in just in time for the party,” Zik said with a glint in his eyes, an eerie laughter, as he slowly slit Leah’s neck and blood gushed out like a fountain.
Tobi saw red.
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