(Hey folks, remember I am launching my first hard copy novel, The Preying Shepherds, on 23rd April, 2022. For planning purposes, the last day I am selling tickets is13thApril. The event will be at Eton Hotel, Thika. Kindly grab your ticket by paying Kshs. 1500 to buy Goods Till Number 297264. I encourage you to register early to help me prepare for the event. Thank you for the continued support.)
(Continued from Shaken Foundations III)
“Are you okay?” Bradley whispers when there is a lull in the gunfire.
“I think so,” Joyce whispers back. “What about you?”
“I am fine too.”
They are on the floor, behind different sofas, where they dove after the shooting started.
“I think they are gone now,” Bradley says standing up.
“No, don’t stand! Maybe they are just hiding waiting for us to show ourselves so that they can shoot us.”
“We cannot stay on the floor forever, Joyce. If they want to kill me, let them.”
Slowly, Joyce stands up too.
“You have been shot,” she says in shock, immediately she sees Bradley. Bradley follows her line of sight and confirms that indeed he has been shot in the stomach. He hadn’t felt any pain and he hadn’t noticed the blood until now.
“I am taking you to hospital,” Joyce says firmly. “Where are your car keys?”
It takes a moment for Bradley to remember that he hadn’t taken the keys from his car because he had not planned on staying in the house for long. His intention had been to grab the laptop and run back to the office.
“In the car,” he says. He is already feeling his strength failing him. Joyce helps him out of the house and into the car and then she races back to the house and locks it. She starts the engine of the car and flies to Galilee Medical Centre. It is a good thing that Bradley took her to driving school. Cess had requested that Bradley takes Joyce to driving school because it would enable Joyce to take her (Cess’) car and do shopping or run other errands whenever she, Cess, was not available.
Nteere Hospital is nearer than Galilee Medical Centre, but it is run by Bradley’s family, and ever since Bradley married Cess, he is never welcome there. But Galilee is run by Bradley’s friend Jehoshaphat and his wife Grace, and this is the hospital where all the medical needs of Bradley’s family are met. It is here that all the three children were born; where they attended their clinics and where they come for treatment and annual checkups.
Joyce knows her way there. When the children were little, she used to bring them here with either Cess or Bradley whenever they got fevers from infections and other health issues that afflict children. Joyce herself has also been treated here twice. The first time she was treated here she had suffered from a bout of malaria and the second time was two years ago when fibroids nearly killed her. She was admitted the second time and a surgery performed on her by Dr. Jehoshaphat himself.
Dr. Jehoshaphat is a surgeon, while his wife is a gynecologist/obstetrician. Their daughter, who is an only child, is a pediatrician. The hospital now has four other doctors: two medical officers, a radiologist and a dental surgeon.
Joyce parks the car in front of the accident and emergency centre. She rushes inside and comes back with nurses and a stretcher. Dr. Jehoshaphat is not at the hospital, and as a nurse tries to get him, his daughter, Dr. Michelle, and one of the medical officers, Dr. Susan, take charge of the situation. They are not specialist surgeons, but they know enough to stabilize Bradley before Dr. Jehoshaphat comes to extract the bullet and stitch Bradley’s stomach.
Philip and Cess are cuddling after their love making session when Philip suddenly bolts from the bed.
“What’s wrong sweetheart?” Cess asks.
“That fool might ruin everything.”
“What are you talking about? Which fool?”
“That house help, what is her name?”
“Joyce? What about her? What will she ruin?”
“She was there when Bradley was beating me up. If Bradley wounds up dead and she opens her lousy mouth, you and I will become the first suspects.”
“Will we go to jail?”
“If she talks, we could. But I cannot allow that to happen, so relax.”
Philip takes his phone and calls the OCS.
“Your work has been done boss,” the OCS says before Philip says anything. “The ball is in your court now.”
“You guys are fast, but I need proof first before I do what is required of me.”
“You will get your proof soon enough.”
“Okay. But that is not the reason why I called you. I called you because there is some complication on my end.”
“What kind of complication?”
Earlier today I had a squabble with the guy you have dealt with and there was a woman present when it happened. If she talks, I will be damned.”
“Who is she?”
“Her name is Joyce and she is his house maid…”
“Ah that one is gone. She was collateral damage when the boys went after your boy. She has been taken care of.”
“Now wait for the news.”
Police snitches spread word to local journalists that a local hotelier has been killed in his house, and by the time OCS Ndirangu arrives, the journalists are surrounding the area like hawks. Detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations have already sealed off the place though, keeping the journalists at bay.
“Sir, we had heard earlier that businessman Bradley was attacked and killed in this house, together with his mistress, but word reaching us now is that Bradley was shot but did not die. The information reaching us is that he is recovering at Galilee Hospital and that the woman he was with was not his mistress but the domestic assistant. What is the correct position?”
The OCS’s heart misses a beat. If that is true, Philip and the entire Nteere clan will make sure that his career or even his life goes down the drain. It is difficult dealing with these people. They made him who he is today, hastening his promotion through the ranks and making sure he was posted to this station, and in return he is expected to be a stooge. They do pay handsomely for every job, but some of those jobs are very difficult, and you never know what consequences will follow failure. He could be fired; or sent to a remote station; or killed.
He ignores the journalist and crosses the tape. He pulls aside one of the detectives.
“Where are the bodies?”
“We did not find any bodies. All there was this pool of blood and this trail that ends up at the car park. We believe that one person was shot and was taken to hospital. We have informed the DCIO and he has sent inquiries to local hospitals.”
“They have been found,” another detective says strolling to where they are. “The owner of this house, that man called Bradley, was shot in the stomach but he survived. He is currently in the theatre. He was in the house with his house help when the shooting began. She is the one who took him to hospital. We didn’t think she could have called for help and that help arrived before we did. The only logical reason as to why we did not find them here is that someone who was already here rushed him to hospital. The hospital confirms that that person is Joyce, the house help.”
The OCS Ndirangu feels as though his head is going to burst. How did this mess happen? His men are usually very competent. They do not leave loose ends. How come they left before confirming that those two fools were actually dead? Were they drunk? Were they compromised? He will find out soon enough, and they will pay dearly. He steps outside the tape again and walks to his car. It is a good thing that he came in his personal car and not a police van.
Once he is inside the car, with the doors and windows locked, he calls Philip. It is very important that Philip gets this information from him, rather than from the media. It is a difficult call, and he wishes he would get a heart attack and die rather than making it, but he has to. To his surprise, Philip listens calmly as he explains the mess that has happened.
“They are my best men sir, and they have performed expertly in all the other assignments you have given us in the past. I really don’t know what happened in this one. But I am going to find out.”
“You know I am not going to allow myself be exposed right?” Philip asks calmly.
“Don’t worry sir. I am going to fix this.”
“And how exactly do you intend to fix this? You can’t send a platoon to the hospital to shoot him. That would be a dumb thing to do, even for low IQ gorillas like you and your thugs.”
Ndirangu swallows the insult. His ego has been bruised, but that happens often whenever he is dealing with this man.”
“It is very simple sir. I know a nurse that I can trust at the hospital. She will only need to seal off his bed as though he needs to be changed and then suffocate him with a pillow.”
“What if someone catches her?”
“She is very good at what she does, sir. She won’t be caught.”
“Don’t be stupid Ndirangu. There are easier ways to do this than that. Get your girl some poison. As she administers regular medicine to him, she can include the poison. If someone comes along, she will say she is administering medicine.”
“I hadn’t thought of that. Thank you sir.”
“What about the house help?”
“She has to leave the hospital at some point. And when she does, we will be waiting. She will bite a bullet or two through the head. This time we will not miss.”
“Good. Make it happen, and this time, no mistakes. If you mess up this time, I will have your heads on a platter; yours and your men’s.”
(This is the last free sub-chapter of this story. To find out what became of Bradley and Joyce, kindly follow the instructions below to purchase your copy of the novella).
Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay: https://pixabay.com/vectors/gangster-criminal-assassin-killing-6902699/
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