“Go upstairs dear and watch cartoon” Caro whispered to her daughter, who nodded and ran up the stairs. Johnjohnson watched her go and licked his lips. Caro turned to face him.

“Please,” She said, “Don’t hurt my family.”

“Ah ah, is that the first thing you will say to me after all these years?” Johnjohnson said with a smirk as he examined the house. “Hmm, you have done very well for yourself oh, see as Caro go marry rich bros!”

“You know this man?” her husband asked.

“He is my strep brother.”

Her husband visibly relaxed, his second mistake of the night.

“Bros man, that mean say we be in-laws ba?” he said genially trying to establish a rapport with johnjohnson. “We be one o, no sha-”

Johnjohnson struck him on his thigh with the machete. He fell to the floor screaming and his wife rushed to his side.

“Leave him alone!” she shouted her eyes wide, her face contorted in fury and terror.

“Your first mistake,” Johnjohnson shouted at the whimpering man, “Was to think we would be kind enough to spare your wife and child! And your second was thinking that I and this B!itch have any friendly relations whatsoever! This woman that is the author of my pain!”

“What?” Caro gasped incredulously.

“Yes!” Johnjohnson boomed. “Daddy always loved you, always showed you more attention because you were his first child. He loved you because you were smarter and always forming obedient, making me look like the bad one, that’s why he hated me so much. The only time he showed me any attention was when he wanted to beat me!”

“You must be mad!” Caro shouted suddenly at the top of her voice. Even Johnjohnson’s men backed away at the sudden outburst from the small and skinny woman. “Did you actually live in that house with your eyes open all these years? Do you know how you and your mother bullied and humiliated me and made my life a living hell? Did daddy at any time come to my rescue?”

“He was pretending jo!” Johnjohnson enthused, “I know he used to come and see you when he thought I wasn’t looking. I know he used to favour you secretly! I knew even when he sent you to that local school he would secretly bribe the teachers to give you special attention.”

“He never did any of those things!” Caro retorted indignantly.

“My mother told me he did!”

“And you believe her?!” Caro screamed

“You are the cause of all my problems.” Johnjohnson said bitterly. “And today you will pay for it.”

Caro suddenly burst into laughter. It was an eerie sort of laugh, like that of a mad woman. Her husband looked up from his crouched position and grabbed her arm.

“Dear, are you okay?” He asked.

“Don’t ask her stupid questions. She can go mad for all I care.” Johnjohnson said. “Go and bring the money quick.”

The man stood up as blood soaked his trousers. For the first time there was fight in his eyes.

“Promise me you won’t hurt my family. Then I will bring the money.”

Johnjohnson’s eyes widened. His body shook with rage. He stuck his hand behind his back and brought out the handgun. Caro’s husband’s lips trembled but he stood firm in front of his still laughing wife whose eyes had now taken on a vacant stare.

“You can kill us or you can take the money but you can’t have both. I assure you even if you turn this house upside down you will never find it. How much did your informant tell you I had? I have twice that amount in this house but you will never find it without our help.”

Johnjohnson cocked the gun.

“Oga take am easy, make we collect the moni first!” One of his men said.

Johnjohnson ignored the man and pointed the gun at Caro even as her husband grabbed her in his arms protectively.

Johnjohnson fired twice and Caro’s husband dropped the ground as he was quickly surrounded by a growing pool of his own blood and his life essence ebbed away.

Caro stopped laughing. She looked at the body of her husband at her feet as his blood circled around her legs. She bent down and touched his head as the robbers looked on in silence. A single sob escaped her lips.

Then she dipped her right palm in the pool of blood and lunged forward like a cat, grabbing Johnjohnson by his neck and taking them all by surprise.

“Your death will be slow and painful!” She screamed at him, rubbing her husband’s blood on his face as he attempted to push her off. “For all my years of suffering you will be repaid in full! Your death will be miserable!”

Johnjohnson wrenched her away with the help of his men. He threw her violently to the floor beside her husband and aimed the gun at her. She stared back at him defiantly.

“Witch!” he spat. “None of your curses will work! I am covered from head to toe in charms!”

“Charm or no charm you will die!” Caro screeched. “You refuse to take responsibility for your own problems but you will not be able to ignore your own death! Soak yourself in charm if you like, the thing that will kill you will be small like this” and she drew a tiny dot with her finger.

Johnjohnson hissed and pointed the gun.

“Oga wait na!” One of the men said rushing to his side but he had already pulled the trigger. Caro fell back against the body of her husband and was still.

“Wetin! Wetin!!” he shouted at his crooney, “Why you dey spoil my groove?”

“But we neva get the moni oga.” The man grumbled. “You no hear wetin he talk say he hide am?”

“Ask the child!” Johnjonson roared, the whites of his eyes showing. He had lost it, the men could see that, it had been happening more and more often during their raids. Three of the men went upstairs grumbling to themselves. How would the child know where the money was?

They brought the girl downstairs. “We saw her on her knees, closing her ears, in front of the television.” They said.

Johnjohnson grabbed the child and shook her violently. “Where is the money? Where is it?”

“Oga, how the pikin go take know na?” One of the men asked, and johnjohnson promptly turned and shot him in the stomach. He fell to the floor shouting and the others rallied around him. The loud noise from the gunshot terrified the girl who started screaming for all she was worth. Her scream was high pitched and almost deafening. The men turned to their leader angrily.

“Oga cool down na!”

“You don dey misbehave oh!”

Johnjohnson glared at them for a moment then turned his attention back to the child.

“Where is the money? Talk or I kill you like I did your parents!”

The child simply bawled away, screaming in terror. Johnjohnson held her down on the floor and pointed the gun at her.

‘Click’

No more bullets.

In a rage, he threw the gun aside and went for his machete. Raising it he stretched out the girl’s arm.

“Where is the money?!”

The child suddenly turned her head and saw the bodies of her parents lying in a heap and surrounded by blood.

“Mummy, Daddy,” she said, suddenly quiet as her little mind tried to process what was going on.

Johnjohnson’s machete came down and the girl went into shock as pain snapped through her frail body.

Johnjohnson raised the machete again but the sound of a siren nearby caught their attention. At the same time a phone in Caro’s pocket began to ring.

“Oga, soldier dey come, dey don call soldier, make we dey go!” One of the men said as the others opened the door and fled.

Johnjohnson shouted in frustration, flung the catatonic child aside and raced out with his men as they disappeared into the night.

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