After about a week, I was strong enough to seek vengeance. Tony helped me through the recovery process. And he drilled me more about the principles of Scarecrow and Southpaw; I knew almost everything about the two cults. Southpaws enjoyed setting their enemies ablaze, Scarecrows preferred to stab their foes to death. After a fortnight, I spotted one of the bastards that desecrated Jumai. He was receiving lectures. I felt like entering the lecture room and killing him on the spot but I exercised restraints and waited for him to exit the class. He was wearing a black shirt over a pair of blue jeans. His feet were encased in an oversized pair of Timberland. I briefly wondered how he was able to transport himself easily with those boots. The guy walked past me without giving a quick glance, even as my head was conspicuously attached to a white bandage. I carefully tailed him, waiting for the right time to assume a cobra complex. I had no weapon on me and I was still too weak to engage in a one-on-one fight with him. I was getting quite frustrated. This guy must not slip away from me. I might not find him again if I lost him now.

When I was beginning to think that he would not stop because, perhaps, he was walking to the end of the earth, he turned into a quiet street. I smiled. I saw an iron rod in a dumpster at the side of the road, I didn’t think twice before claiming it. The deeper into the street we went, the quieter everywhere was.

I walked briskly to him and hit him sharply on the back of the neck. He went down like a house of cards, and then, like me, there was power outage of consciousness.

Fortunately for me, it was already getting dark. I had to carry him through a deeper and quieter route to where I convalesced. He weighed a lot less than he looked. By the time I got to my destination, darkness had already covered the face of the earth. I was alone today. Tony had returned to the school hostel. He had to prepare for the next day’s test. His absence would give me ample time to know my new friend better.

I dropped him in the armchair in the room and tied him down. I made sure that the rope I used was a strong one, and the knots tight. It seemed somehow ironical to me; last month, I was the one being tied down while the others did their evil work. The table had turned now. I went to get a kitchen knife and a screwdriver. This was going to be fun. I couldn’t wait to see how much he would savour the taste of retribution.

I sat at the edge of the bed and watched the limp rascal. He was totally withered, much like a deceased fish. I watched him closely. His breathing was shallow. The sweat oozing from his forehead showed that he would be coming about soon. I bent down before him and removed the boots he wore. I also relieved his loops of the belt.

Less than five minutes later, he came slowly awake. He was groaning but his eyes were still shut. I had no patience for such nonsense. I reached out and gave him a hard slap. His eyes came wide open. He looked up at me with surprise etched on his face. I knew he couldn’t see me in the darkness. I had covered my face with a cap.

“Who are you?” He asked nervously, his voice registering panic, “What do you want with me?”

I thickened my voice and said, “We’re going to have a long night, my friend.”

“What am I doing here?”

“You’re here to get entertained.” I replied, still retaining my thick voice. My captive was about five years older than I was.

“Entertained?” He looked dumb.

“Yes, entertained, my friend. Two weeks ago, you had fun. You raped a girl and urinated on her. In short, you had the best entertainment when she was shot dead. You’re a true Scarecrow. I’m just here to make sure the fun doesn’t end. Unfortunately this time around, you’re the victim. I’m assuring, however, that you’re not going to be raped or urinated on. A new kind of fun would be introduced.”

“Who are you? How did you know about all these? Are you a Southpaw? I see that you’re holding the knife in your left hand. What is your business with our activities? You guys should do your things and allow us to do ours.”

I smiled. No, I actually laughed. “If I were a Southpaw, you would already be dead. And I wouldn’t be the one killing you. I just don’t want that to happen. I want to give you the chance of atoning for your sins.”

The nonentity laughed. “If you’re not a Southpaw,” he said, “Then you must have a lot of balls taking me hostage. How dare you take a Crow hostage? You want to die?”

I stared at him in speculation for about seven seconds before I suddenly picked up the screwdriver and stabbed him on the left thigh. He screamed like a bat.

“Listen to me, you piece of garbage. I’m not here to sing you a lullaby. The only person who would be dying here is you. Let’s see who has the real balls here.”

And with that, the screwdriver still in his thigh, I tore his trousers into shreds and held his scrotum in my palm. When I looked in his eyes, I saw only one expression, fear.

I smiled and squeezed the balls. He howled out loud like a wolf.

“Please! Please!” He begged me. “You’re killing me! I’m dying!”

I released my hold on his eggs. “Now, I’m going to ask you some questions and you’re going to answer. Is that clear?”

He nodded diligently.