What’s wrong with me? I’ve gotten over my writer’s block but I run away from pens nowadays. I seem to be scared of doing any writing. Here’s another sample excerpt from my work.
‘You asked for me?’ Coker stepped into the office. His eyes took in everything in the room.
The man known as Filatei took off his glasses as if he could see better without them and studied him through squinted eyes.
‘Have a seat Thomas,’ he indicated the chair in front of his desk, nodding simultaneously at the woman standing in the doorway. ‘That will be all for now, Unyime.’
He waited until she had left the office before he turned to Coker.
‘How’s everything going at your office?’ he asked.
‘It’s dull, monotonous work,’ Coker grumbled. ‘How much longer do I have to work there?’
‘You just have to stay there,’ Filatei frowned, putting his glasses back on. ‘Hopefully, what I have planned for you should be less monotonous. How much do you know about Senator Obum?’
Coker’s hand flew to his chin and scratched at his beard as he racked his brain. He shook his head slowly,’I don’t think I’ve ever heard the name. What’s his constituency?’
‘That is not important for now — what’s important is that there’s a link to him in your case.’
‘How?’ Coker sat up, surprised at the un-Nigerian efficiency with which the organization worked.
‘I was assuming you’d be able to tell me. Did you see the pictures taken by your colleague?’
‘No, I intended to…’
‘Intended. Intended!’ Filatei cut him off in mid-sentence, slamming his fist on his desk. Coker jumped in his seat. The vase of cheap plastic flowers fell over on its side. ‘This is not a bureaucracy. I expect results — not intentions.’
‘I’m sorry sir — it won’t happen again,’ Coker apologised. The amount of power this little man could command with his voice was surprising.
‘Good,’ Filatei said quietly. He left his desk and walked up to the window, pulling the cords for the blinds. ‘Come and join me.’
Coker joined him at the window. Together, they looked down at the street below. It was raining and many of the gutters were filled. Cars sped in both directions splashing water on the cursing pedestrians waiting to cross the street from either side. A madman dodged between the flying cars, a tattered hole-ridden umbrella over his head.
‘We’ve discovered Senator Obum has a very interesting pastime.’ Filatei took off his glasses and wiped them on his sleeve. Coker waited patiently as he cleaned them — first the lenses, then the rim.
‘He likes young girls,’ Filatei said.
‘Who doesn’t?’ asked Coker. ‘Most of these politicians pick up a university girl every few…’
Filatei shook his head slowly. ‘You don’t understand Thomas. I’m talking of ten-year-olds,’ he smiled when he saw the look of disgust on Coker’s face. ‘He usually has one every two months. Luckily for us, this month is one of them.’
‘I see,’ Coker said through clenched teeth. His face was like thunder. ‘Where do I come into this?’
‘We’ve fixed something for you. A girl has already been prepared,’ Filatei faced him fully. ‘You’ll take the girl to his hotel room and…’
‘Me?’ Coker was incredulous. ‘Why don’t you arrest him instead?’
‘We need pictures of him in a compromising situation,’ Filatei explained. ‘We want something to hold over him.’
‘We want, we need,’ Coker’s voice was laced with sarcasm. ‘I can’t believe you’re asking me to take an underage girl to that pervert and take pictures like a pornographic photographer while he…’
‘Thomas!’ Filatei roared. They stared at each other in silence. ‘You were fully briefed when we recruited you for this department. If you’re going to behave like a woman about something this simple you won’t go far here.’
‘I’m sorry sir,’ he said quickly. ‘It won’t happen again.’
‘That’s your standard response,’ Filatei commented. He strode rapidly away from the window but stopped halfway to his desk. ‘Are you staying with us or do I send you back to the navy, Captain Coker?’