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    Walt Shakes

    Walter Ude (@Walt_Shakes) is an award-winning Nigerian writer, poet and veteran blogger. He is a lover of the written word. the faint whiff of nature, the flashing vista of movies, the warmth of companionship and the happy sound of laughter. He blogs at mymindsnaps.wordpress.com.

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THE HAND OF GOD (Part 2)

Foreword

Hello, guys, voting for the Nigerian Blog Awards is still on, and yours truly is still in the running as the Nigerian Blog of the Year. So, please, if you haven’t voted and you have 3 or 4 email addresses, or you have friends who have friends who have email addresses who haven’t voted, please oh please, do get yourselves to this link: http://nigerianblogawards.com/vote2013.php

Click it open, put down your name and email address, scroll down-down-down to the bottom of the page and vote ‘My Mind Snaps’ on the category ‘Nigerian blog of the year’. Then submit. You’ll get a notification on your email, so sharpaly-sharpaly go there and click on the confirmation link so your vote can be counted. Thank you, guys, and God bless as you do this.

And now, for the story . . .

*

Previously on The Hand Of God:

Two secret agents, Julia Onyema from the Nigerian Intelligence Agency (NIA) and Akeem Onyango from the Kenyan task Force (KTF) defy protocol when they fall in love and get married in February 2022. And on the morning after the wedding, right in front of their Lagos Island home, Akeem is murdered in a car explosion, before his new wife.

And now, almost a year later. . .

January 2023

Blake Hudson awoke with a start. She looked at her watch. It was nearly seven. Riley had insisted that she get some rest, but she hadn’t expected to be out so long. She sat up, feeling thickheaded. Her body was aching and when she swung her legs over the side of the hotel room bed, she felt a little sick to her stomach. She still had her yesterday’s clothes on, but she had slipped off her shoes and pantyhose before lying down.

She got off the bed, padded into the adjoining bathroom and looked at herself in the mirror. “God,” was all she could manage to say. Her blond hair was matted flat, her face a mess, her clothes filthy and her brain felt like cement. Such a pleasant look to begin a new day – a new year, she corrected – with.

“Happy New Year, you,” she told the horrific-looking woman in the mirror.

The woman’s lips turned into a wry smile in response.

She turned on the shower and stepped back into the bedroom to undress. Despite feeling very rotten physically, she was still riding that emotional high that brought her all the way from Ohio to the cutthroat, fast-paced streets of New York. She was on her way to the top, the peak of her career, and she knew it. Tom Harper, her former boss at the WNBC in Ohio, had always been restrictive, always looking over her shoulder at the feature pieces she worked on. The man was very liberal with his criticisms, caustic remarks he made that chipped away at her confidence and kept her where he wanted her – under his thumb.

But that call that got her on the scent of the war that was raging in Africa, between the Muslim extremists of some Western African countries and the nations’ spy agencies, a war that had been going on for years, but suddenly had the potential of being brought to cessation pending the revelation of the high-risk information the caller had entrusted her with – that call had changed everything. She’d quickly gotten on the investigative trail of the story like a shark following the blood fumes of a quarry down in the deep. Tom’s strictures hadn’t swayed her, God knows the man tried. And when he told her expressly that whatever feature she finally put together he wasn’t going to allow on air, she knew she had come to the end of the road in her relationship with the news station.

She started shopping around – clandestinely of course – for a new network. A new job. A new home. This story had to be told to the world. And there would be no shooting the messenger here, she thought as she envisioned the acclaim and the worldwide recognition that would come with being the reporter who shamed the Muslim world.

Well, the jihadist faction, that is, she corrected as she removed the last stitch of clothing and returned to the bathroom. She climbed under the needle spray of the shower and began to hum a song as she washed herself.

The search for a network that would hire her based on the promise of her story had been tough. CNN, Fox News, MSNBC – they’d all remained stiffly unimpressed with what they dismissed as her prevarications. These big wigs in the industry were too jaded to believe that whatever she had – details which she hadn’t been forthcoming with in her interviews – could change the world. Some others thought it was about Africa, and they didn’t particularly care about Africa. She was starting to get despondent at all the doors that were getting shut in her face when US Cable News (USCN) did a double take and called her back. She breezed back into the air-conditioned conference room with its plush furniture, chrome-plated edges and wood paneling, smiled with the network bosses, signed on the dotted lines and became officially an employee of one of the biggest news stations in America.

She had arrived!

It gave her much pleasure to shove her resignation in Tom Harper’s face. She re-rented her apartment in Ohio, packed up her belongings and made the move to New York on December 30 last year. She returned to the station yesterday, and got acquainted with some more of her colleagues, even flirting with Sam Riley, the man who was going to be her producer. Someone had suggested a trip to a swanky bar that had just opened up some blocks from the station to celebrate the impending New Year’s Day. And soon, she had found herself putting away swigs of Cosmopolitan and enjoying laughter and jokes with this crop of slick sophisticates she was soon going to be working side-by-side with.

Ah, New York was such a beautiful place with beautiful people and beautiful bars and beautiful opportunities, she thought blissfully as she stepped out of the bath and wrapped herself in a furry white robe. She padded back into the bedroom and sank into the cushioned stool before the vanity table. She gave her reflection on the mirror the once-over, trying to determine if she belonged to this beautiful city. Her features were fine and small, her lips were chiseled and firm, and her complexion was right. Fine as porcelain, her ex-husband had told her when they were dating. Her huge blue eyes were fringed with luxuriously thick dark lashes. She pushed a slim pale hand through the wet fall of her blond hair, which possessed the quality of spun silk. And then she smiled. Yes, she would do. She was not there yet, but eventually New York would rub off on her.

Thinking about her ex-husband, even fleetingly so, put a damper on her mood. Ronald Ferguson was the quintessential bad boy, with his ruggedly-handsome rock-star looks and his dreams to one day be the biggest thing that ever happened to the American pop music industry. But his dreams had remained just that – Dreams! For all the five years they’d been married, he’d mooched off her, playing the tortured artiste on his way to stardom to the hilt. And at first, all that broodiness had fanned the flames of her attraction, and kept her married to him and blinded to his faults, which included booze and every mile-high, skimpily-clad legs that sashayed past the periphery of his vision. And then she’d wised up quickly and kicked him out. Along with his cheating ways and the payment of alimony. Having to give him even a nickel of her hard-earned money really stuck her in the craw. But it was what she had to live with for falling for a bad boy. Bad boys – she had a history of making all her mistakes with them, dating back to her high school days.

“Blake, bad boys will not be the death of you,” she said to the woman in the mirror as she leaned forward to begin applying her makeup.

The woman smiled at her, seeming to agree with her.

Several moments later, Blake was dressed, clad in a beige silk dress, a designer creation (Everyone who was anyone wore designer dresses in New York, Shelley from PR had told her), and she looked good in it, the colour and style perfect for her slim figure. She was scheduled for a meeting with Riley, and she was already feeling some butterflies in the pit of her stomach at the prospect of spending some time with that tall, drink of green-eyed, shaggy-haired, deeply-tanned hotness.

There was a rap on the hotel room door.

“Who is it?” she said as she picked up her purse.

“Room service,” came the reply that was muffled by the thickness of the door.

She gave herself one more look at the mirror, patted a hand down on her tousled curls before walking over to the door. She opened it to the sight of a black man standing on the doorway. He was well-built with a skin colour that gleamed with the rich dark colour of ebony, and her eyes didn’t miss the minuscule dark mark that was etched on his forehead above eyes that glittered with an unnerving fervor.

“Miss Hudson – are you Miss Blake Hudson?” he asked in a heavily accented voice that made her dismiss him as a native of America.

“It’s Ms. actually. Ms. Hudson. You said this was room service…?” Her voice faltered to a stop when the man swiftly lifted a silenced gun from his side.

He squeezed the trigger and sent a bullet into Blake’s chest. She grunted and clutched at her chest with both hands. She looked down at the red blooming on the beige silk of her dress as a thought fleeted through her mind. That she was wrong – and that it seemed bad boys would be the death of her. The man squeezed the trigger again, three times in quick succession. The bullets spat from the end of the silencer, all three of them striking the woman in the nose. A pink mist exploded from the back of Blake’s head. A good portion of her brains splashed on the Chippendale bureau that stood beside the door. She was long dead before her body toppled to the ground, a crumpled mess of bloodied designer perfection.

I am @Walt_Shakes on twitterThe Hand Of God

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Leave a comment

24 Comments

  1. Every line was perfect and building the story to its climax.. . You are good!

    Reply
  2. Another person dead. This is action-packed. My type of story. Yayy! Something off the romance plague spreading around.

    Reply
  3. doris

     /  November 24, 2013

    Walter,today is sunday.you shldnt hv committed murder.i don vote o

    Reply
  4. Yemie

     /  November 24, 2013

    ‘A crumpled mess of designer perfection’. However did you come up with this? Lol! Espionage at its best, well done and keep it coming.

    Reply
  5. Yemie

     /  November 24, 2013

    *bloodied designer’s perfection*

    Reply
  6. Iont quite unnerstand dis one

    Reply
  7. Evan

     /  November 24, 2013

    “… A crumpled mess of bloodied designer perfection”. Kai Walter, thou art good! Hope part 3 won’t take so long.

    Reply
  8. This is good…. You need a book deal bro

    Reply
  9. abolanle

     /  November 24, 2013

    “She was long dead before her body toppled to the ground, a crumpled mess of bloodied designer perfection.” Best line of d crop! Awesome!

    Reply
  10. kachi

     /  November 24, 2013

    Saw the end from the second paragraph! Nice penning

    Reply
  11. Adeline Kasper

     /  November 24, 2013

    Hehe! Anoda persn dead? The hand of God dey dis 1? Lol!
    Nice write.

    Reply
  12. Melexa

     /  November 25, 2013

    Treading the path of Jeffery Archer and his ilk huh? U got my interest.
    Doing a perfect work of bursting my head with a reckless abandon Waltz. Ur mind really truly verily snaps!

    Reply
  13. Bella

     /  November 25, 2013

    This is nice dear…but know ye this,if u try the stunt u pulled with Heart of a King with this story,Ms Hudson won’t be the only character murdered recently #NoThreats

    Reply
  14. You just kill a character just as I was starting to fall in love with her. Why kill Bella? Wait…it’s Blake. See what happens? Other than the fact that I hate you for killing such a lovely character so early, this was unbelievably beautiful.

    Reply
  15. anderson

     /  November 30, 2013

    The diction is slightly different from that of the Wallie m used to o. Wallie, u sure u wrote this? *raised eyebrow*

    Reply
  16. nik

     /  December 3, 2013

    damn u walt. warris this na,? waiting for the conection with 1 though

    Reply
  1. THE HAND OF GOD (Part 3) | MY MIND SNAPS

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