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Wednesday, 19 August 2020

PREMIUM STORY: Corper John [Episode 1-3]

Corper John
It was around 6 am when John woke up, he tried to get up and say his morning prayers when he noticed that TJ, his childhood friend had slept with his leg over his chest, he pushed his leg aside and cursed TJ ”when you go dey drink too much", Adebayo John was a 23 year old corper who hailed from Ogun state, he and his friend Timmy Johnson 23 whom also hailed from Ogun state have been together since childhood, they both attended the same primary school, secondary school and university, and surprisingly they were both posted to Enugu state for their NYSC. They had finished their NYSC and were going back home that morning, John was not really excited that morning because he was returning home to his busy father who never had time for him and his mean step mother who hated him because he was the only male child in the family, John’s mother had left him with his father because he was a drunkard and beat her up every time he drank, he had met John’s step mother at a club where he usually drank.

John quickly said his prayers and went to have his bath, when he came back TJ was still sleeping, John kicked him and said mumu you no go go bath, TJ then said ‘weray’ and went out to have his bath. John had finished dressing up when TJ came in, John was dressed in his Corper outfit, while waiting for TJ to finish dressing up he took his time to cross check his luggage, he then remembered that he had not picked up his novel, at least that would entertain him throughout the long journey to Lagos. John and TJ went to have their breakfast of moin – moin and pap at mama Nkechi’s buka, they then set out to the main road to look for a taxi to take them to the motor park, they waited for about 7 minutes before they saw a taxi, after a minute of negotiating the taxi driver then agreed to take them there for 200 naira, they then set off on the 15 minutes journey to the motor park, John looked sideways at TJ, TJ was the last born of a rich family of 3 girls and he was the only male child, his 3 sisters were based in the U.S with their mother, while his father was a busy business man who rarely spent a week without traveling, TJ was handsome, he was the ladies guy but te was not brilliant in terms of academics, he graduated with a second class lower, TJ also had a knack for getting into trouble.

They got to the park and alighted then settled their taxi driver, it was then TJ tried hiding his face when he sighted somebody in the garage , John noticed TJ’s action and asked oh boy wetin happen? TJ said padi mi na one of those girls I see o, make we do quick go enter bus, they hurriedly entered a bus with a Lagos sign on it, while in the bus TJ put his head on the seat to hide his face.

John, still a little bit surprised asked, which girl be that? TJ with his head still on the chair, it’s one of those girls who claimed I impregnated them, Job burst into an uncontrolled laughter which attracted some passengers in the bus, so you dey run from yourr esponsibility abi? Which kind responsibility? Na only me they dey follow sleep? If she see me for here she go hook me down come embarass me for this park. Luckily for TJ the last passenger entered and they set off, but TJ still had his head on the chair, John with a smile on his face tapped TJ on his head and said Baba Junior carry your head up, TJ grinned and said you don dey craze. John checked his wrist watch, they had set off around 8 am, John then took a moment to survey the faces of those in the bus, they were six corpers in the bus including them, 4 guys and 2 girls, one of the girls of which he knew, her name was Joy and she was one the few girls he admired. Joy Parker was epitome of beauty, she was an half-caste, her father was from England and her mother was from Nigeria, John had seen a lot of girls in his lifetime but he could swear she was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen, after a while John picked up his novel and got busy, he was reading the broker by John Grisham, he was in the 5th chapter when something happened.

Suddenly the woman beside him had an asthma attack, as she tried to use her inhaler it fell outside the bus through the window, John immediately shouted at the driver to stop, when the bus finally came to a halt, John got down and sprinted back in search of the inhaler, he ran for about 50 metres before sighting the inhaler, when he picked it up he ran back to the bus like a mad man and handed the inhaler back to the woman, she then used it and it stopped the attack in a matter of seconds, John looked sideways only for him to see that Joy was staring athim, John was immediately taken aback by her captivating beauty, she had a light skin and beautiful brown eyes, they had eye contact for about 5 seconds before Joy finally looked away smiling , after the woman had calmed down she thanked John for his help and prayed for him. Joy knew a trustworthy guy when she saw one and to her John would be trustworthy, she had only seen him a few times around camp but there was something about him that interested her, after being cheated on by her ex boyfriend, Joy decided that she was done with Nigerian men but maybe John was an exception. TJ was glad he was returning home, home for him meant he could go out with his father’s cars, go clubbing, bring home girls and move at his own free will, he remembered his ordeal with different girls with different sizes, shapes and skin colour, he was a player unlike his friend John, he felt sorry for John who didn’t really know what fun was like, his attention was drawn back by the screams of the people in the bus, when he looked to see what was happening TJ said “oh d--n ” because trouble was ahead of them Right in front of them stood six men armed men, the driver thought about making a run for it but thought again when he saw a plank full of nails right In front of him, he had no option but to stop the bus, the armed men ordered them all out of the bus, and asked them to drop all their valuables and money, the passengers immediately began to comply, the only thing John could think of at that moment was the safety of Joy, he hoped the men would do nothing more than collect their money and leave them alone but he was wrong, the woman who had an asthma attack earlier suddenly fainted, no one dared go to her aid, the leader of the armed men ordered the corpers and four other passengers into the bus where they were blindfolded, the next thing John heard was gunshots as the remaining passengers were killed in cold blood, the driver of the bus tried to escape but got six bullets into his back as a result of his action, the men then got into the bus and drove off, John’s heart started to beat fast he was half glad that Joy and TJ were in the bus with him, though he didn’t know this men but he knew one thing about them “don’t mess with them “, TJ had his heart in his mouth, he had never had a gun pointed at him before, he didn’t know where these men were taking them to but he knew it could not be good


Joy was so scared that her heart pumped like a pumping machine, she had different questions racing through her mind like Who were these people? Where are they being taken to? What do they want from them? Why were they the chosen ones? John noticed that the bus suddenly slowed down and took a turn, now there were off the tarred road, he knew because he could tell from the buses sound and movement, he heard one of the armed men talking about how much they will be paid for bringing ten people, one of the men said If na 100,000 naira per person then e mean say na one million naira we dey collect, now John knew where they were being taken to, they were going to be sold by the
armed men to ritualists who would pay them 100,000 naira for each of them, TJ’s worst fears were confirmed as he also heard their conversation, is this how his life is going to end? He thought, the bus had continued along the rough road for 30 minutes where it had taken different turns than they could count, they drove for another 20 minutes before the bus finally came to a stop. They were there, John thought, they were at the place where their lives might end, their blindfolds were removed and they were ordered to get down from the bus, as they got down lo and behold they were in the middle of nowhere inside a very thick forest, right in front of them stood an uncompleted building with hefty and heavily armed men, they were about 7 in number, one of the guards said they don come o, the leader of the armed men then ordered them to line up in a straight line and move into the building, John wondered how any human being in their right senses would think of building a house in such a thick forest in the first place, as they were moving into the building, John noticed that a car was parked beside it, it was a Range Rover SUV, John quickly crammed the number of the vehicle AA 885 AKD as they were about to enter into the building John thought, was that the last car he was going to see? Well if it was, it was a nice one. They entered the building which was dark and damp and smelled of death, escaping was not an option as they were surrounded by hard looking, heartless and hefty armed men, they were lead to a dark room they called the dungeon, where they were chained. TJ said to John ‘on the bright side we’ll pray to God for forgiveness and end up in heaven ‘ prayers! John hadn’t thought of that, he began to pray to God for forgiveness, he asked God to find them away out of this smelly, dark dungeon, he had not finished praying when one man walked in carrying injections all filled with a substance that neither of them knew about, the man began to inject each of them with the substance, as he was injected, John began to recite psalm 23, he had not reach ‘thou anoint my head with oil ‘ when he suddenly felt dizzy, as his eyes were about to close the last thing he saw was Joy who was already unconscious. It was almost evening when they woke up, they must have slept for about 5 hours, it was then John noticed that he was Unclad and all his hair was shaven, not only him but all the guys who were in the dungeon, he looked towards Joy’s direction, she was untouched and so were the remaining women in the dungeon, he and Joy’s eyes met, he was a little shy, he liked the idea of being Unclad in front of her but not under such circumstances, their clothes were in the center of the room, John felt uneasy, he was not used to being Unclad in front of women, but he knew TJ was, he had to find a way to free himself and get out of this mess along with Joy and TJ at least, he looked at the far end of the room and noticed that some of them were weeping, John studied the room for escape points, the window was not an option as it was high, very
small and had a hard burglary barricade in front of it, he looked up at the ceiling, the door was not an option either as two armed men were outside guarding it, he looked at Joy then he had an idea.

John looked at Joy’s hair and noticed that she had a hair pin, can you throw me your hair pin? John asked politely, okay Joy replied as she removed her hair pin and tossed it at John, with his shackle bound hands he pick up the pin, as he tried to use the pin to pick the lock of his chains, the door opened and 3 men came in and took the four other people who were not corpers, John heard one of them say something about beheading them and using their organs for money rituals, John silently prayed to God for a miracle, as the last armed man was about to close the door he mistakenly shut the door on the bunch of keys attached to his belt hole, the keys fell inside the room as the man shut the
door, that was the fastest prayer that God had ever answered him, now he had to act fast, heaven had helped him now he had to help himself, he got back to picking the lock as he was sweating as if he was inside an oven, he was relieved when he picked the first lock, he had never done such before but he had now put the movies he watched into good use, as his left hand was free he used it to pick the second lock,it took about 3 minutes for him to pick the lock until it opened, with both his hands free he stretched to where the key was but he was just a few inches short, he looked around and remembered their clothes which was in the middle of the room, he stretched to where the clothes were and took his boxers and used often it to try to get the key, He threw his boxers over the bunch of keys and pulled it nearer, now he had the keys, he had tried 3 keys before the fourth one opened the shackles on his feet, now free, he out on his boxers and went to release Joy first, he tried the keys that released him first and it opened all her shackles, he tried it for TJ too and It worked, when TJ was free John have him the keys to release the other 3 people while he dressed up, when they were all released and dressed up, John had a plan to get them out of there.

Bison was in the slaughter room when he noticed that his keys were not with him, he quickly retraced his steps in search of the keys, he searched everywhere but could not find his keys, he then remembered that he had not searched the dungeon, with his pistol in his hand he ran to the dungeon, he then ordered the two guards to open the door, when the door was opened, Bison could not believe his eyes The room was empty as all the prisoners had escaped through the ceiling, he raised an alarm and informed all the men that the prisoners had escaped and he needed to have them back, all the men ran out in search of John and his mates because prisoners meant money, John and his friends ran through the back of thebuilding into the forest as fast as they could because sooner or later their captors would find out that they had escaped, before they could say Nelson Mandela 6 armed men were after them, it was now a race of life and death called stop and you are dead, TJ had been in a similar situation before when he was being chased by cultists in his university for dating the girlfriend of one of them, that time he ran through the school premises to the nearest police station or else he would have surely been beaten to coma, he had then called his father who had then called the commissioner of police to get the cultists arrested, they ran through the forest without knowing where exactly they were heading to, luckily for John the men had not collected his wrist watch, he checked the time as he was running, it was 4:20 pm, as they continued running one of the male corpers whose name was Chidi fell and twisted his ankle, they had already ran far ahead before TJ looked back and noticed what had happened, none of them dared go back to rescue him, John felt sorry for Chidi as the men pounced on him and dragged him back, one man dragged him as the remaining 5 continued the pursuit, asJohn and his friends ran on they jumped over a pit which was full of bones and skulls and produced a bad odor, John concluded that that was probably where the men dumped the remains of their victims, they ran and turned left but the men kept pursuing them, they arrived at a cliff which had a river at It’s bottom, John and his friends looked back, there was only one thing to do
John looked down at that river, it was flowing fast, he looked at TJ who nodded at him he looked back and saw that the armed men were closing in on them, he held Joy’s hand and said we all jump at the count of 3 okay, by then the men were 50 feet apart from them shouting stop! stop there! With Joy’s hand in his John counted 1, 2 , and at the count of three the youth corpers Jumped down the cliff, by the time the men got there, John and his friends were half way down the cliff, the men turned back disappointed, Bison was going to be mad at them. Splash! John and his friends landed into the river, they tried to swim as the strong river current carried them along, he held on tight to Joy’s hand,
no matter what happens he’s not going to let go, he didn’t bother much about TJ, he knows he’ll be fine, he looked back and saw that the other male and female corper were doing well, they
journeyed along the river as the current continued to push them down the river, John’s heart raced as he sighted something that looked like a crocodile ahead of them, his heart pounded even faster as they got near it, it was then he realised that it was just a log of wood, he felt relieved as his heart beat reduced, he and Joy held on to the log of wood as their Journey continued, TJ looked to his side as he saw monkeys on the trees beside the river chattering and jumping happily, for one second he wished he could take their place, he had had enough worries for that day, he looked at John and Joy floating away with the log, he smiled a bit, he knew John liked Joy a lot because he had told him about her before, he had never seen John go crazy about a girl before, at least he was happy for John whose dreams were coming true but maybe not the way he had wanted or imagined it, the river slowed down as it brought them into a larger river, this was probably the end of the river , he thought, he was right, it was the end of the river but the beginning of a new journey as they felt something like ropes pulling them into the river, they tried to scream for help but their words became bubbles as they were
dragged underwater The corpers struggled for air as they were drawn down deeper into the river, suddenly a bright light shone and they all became unconscious.

Joy was the first to wake up in the unusual environment, as she opened her eyes a tilapia fish passed in front of her, she was shocked as she noticed they were underwater and she could breathe, John and the rest too woke up and were shocked but amazed that they could breathe underwater, as they tried to move they realised that they had been tied down by some mysterious sea plant, as they tried struggling to free themselves a voice echoed ‘what are you looking for in my kingdom you worthless and wicked human beings ‘? They looked around butcould not find anybody, you fish eaters disgust  me and do not deserve to be alive, I don’t know why my daughter rescued you people from the drowners but you are going to face the panel tonight, it was then that the merman showed his self to the corpers, he was very handsome and had a the trunk of a human being and the rest of his body from his waist was like a fish, John had heard of mammy water, he had even seen them in
movies like H2O but he never imagined it was anything as beautiful as that, the merman swam towards them and looked at their faces before swimming away, then another figure approached them, it was a mermaid, the most beautiful thing TJ had ever seen in his life, she came towards them and told them how she had rescued them from the drowners, she also told them that her father, the king hated human beings and was going to put them on trial, if they were found guilty they would be eaten by fish, she also told them that they had to pick one of them to be their lawyer and that they had an hour before trial, she then swam away, they spent the next 45 minutes debating who would be their lawyer as John and TJ both studied law, they finally agreed that John should be their lawyer as he had taken good decisions for them, they had not waited too long when some huge mermen came to lead them to trial.


They were led to another part of the river where a lot of mermen and mermaids were, it looked like a place where they had their events , then the trial began, the opposition lawyer started by accusing humans of murder and pollution of their water world, he pleaded with the court to give the humans the justice they deserve which was death, then John was called to defend his friends, he first started by greeting that judge and the entire members of the underwater world, he then asked the opposing
lawyer what his best food was, the opposing lawyer replied and said he eats underwater plants, John then said he was also guiltyof murder because the plants also had life, he said that if the plants could move and talk they would also put the merman and mermaids on trial, he explained that fish was one of man’s best food and that man even reared them for food, he went ahead to say that they were some humans who kept fish as pet, he narrated their ordeal in the hands of the kidnappers and begged the court to have mercy on them as they all had families to return to, when John had finished speaking, the court jury then swarm away to decide on the outcome of the trial, TJ chuckled as the
jury swarm away, he could not believe his eyes, they were being tried by fish, he was guilty of eating fish ranging from cat fish pepper soup, tilapia, Titus, sardine and many more than he could count, in fact fish was in the moin – moin they hand for breakfast that morning, the jury were back and they were not smiling, they told the judge their decision and went back to their position, the judge cleared his throat and said here is our decision, after hearing from both lawyers, this underwater court finds the humans. Not Guilty! You are therefore discharged and acquitted, John and his friends heaved a sigh of relief as the judgement was passed, John was the happiest amongst them because he had won his first major case, it was a special and unique one, it was underwater against the mer world, he knew he was destined for great things, he went to give the opposing lawyer a hand shake, the opposing lawyers hand was the softest and smoothest hand he had ever touched, he was full of Joy, he was the man of the moment, Joy stepped forward and gave him a hug, yes! he deserved it, the rest of his friends stepped forward and hugged him too, TJ gave him a pat on his cleanly shaved head and said that’s my boy, the princess of the underwater world came forward gave John something that looked like a Pearl and whispered something in his ear, John looked at the pearl and nodded his head in understanding.

It was time for them to leave the underwater world, they were lead upwards by hefty mermen who helped them swim to the river bank and quickly swarm back to their underwater world, finally they were free from the water world, TJ had seen the mermaid tell John something in his ear, he wondered what she might have told him, maybe, she was asking for his bb pin or his twitter handle, TJ chuckled as he thought, John looked at Joy, she was dripping with water as her Corper vest stuck to her skin,
he could now see her Sexy and lovely body, she saw him looking and smiled at him, John looked back at the river which was now calm, if there was a world record for longest time spent by a human being underwater without air, they had now broken it, he looked at his watch which he could not see clearly, whatever the time was, the day was far spent as it was already evening, they continued their journey with great precaution as they could not afford another negative surprise that day, they found an orange tree in their path and plucked some oranges to cure their hunger, John watched as TJ devoured an orange, he just hoped there was no orange kingdom to arrest them again, they finally decided to spend their night under the orange tree, they would wake up in turns to keep watch of the others, as John lay down to sleep he looked at the bright side of their Journey, he had gotten a clean
hair cut and shave from his kidnappers and he had received a very valuable jewel from the mermaid, he had also won his first major case in court, he was also closer to that girl he loved, a cool breeze blew as John fell into a deep sleep. Shh! no noise They awoke to the sound of birds chirping in the forest, the sun was about setting, Tomiwa, the other male Corper had slept off while keeping watch over them, he forgot to wake John up to keep watch, John stood up and looked around, his back ached from sleeping on the ground, he looked at Joy, he was glad she had survived all what they had gone through, he somehow felt responsible for her safety, Becky the other female Corper was crying and lamenting that they would not get out of the forest, Joy moved closer to her and comforted her telling her all was going to be all right, John knew she was right, they didn’t know which direction they were going, but he knew that once there is life, there is hope, they went in search of what to eat, luckily for them they found a pawpaw tree with ripe fruits, they shook the tree until two pawpaws fell, that was their breakfast, they needed water so they set back to the river they had just come from, but they were careful not to go to close to it, as they drank and washed their hands, legs and face, it was the first time any of the had voluntarily drank water from a river , did they have a choice?
Now which way will they head? John called their attention so that they can decide, Tomiwa studied geography, so using the position of the sun he got their bearing and suggested they head west, what did they know? They rarely knew anything about geography, they set off on their journey, John was the one Who was in front, they had walked for two hours when they got to a wider road that was not tarred, they were glad because it meant they were closer to civilization, they navigated the road for 10
minutes when they suddenly heard a voice saying stop there.

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