CHAPTER TWENTY SIX
“Where are you going?” Dale, who was just standing by, screamed at Nancy in displeasure. Nancy was on her way out, with some luggage, and was headed for the door of Dale’s living room. She suddenly stopped to reply.
“Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten we’re still in the game. We’re game players!”
“Tell me no more about that silly game.” Anger drove Dale to scream again.
“Abusive words for a game that will continue to enrich you? Is that fair?”
“You don’t know what’s fair! I do!” Nancy got peeved as well.
“I see!” She screamed back. “What you know is fair is that you negotiated me away. That is fair!” Dale’s tone changed immediately from being one of anger to one of plea.
“Please I’m sorry. Leave that game and come back to me.” Then he reminded Nancy that it was adultery she was neck-deep in. Nancy got angry the more. Her tone was thunderous in her witty response.
“Now you want to play the morally conscious man?”
“Not that. Please understand.”
“This game is so exciting.”
“Go ahead. Enjoy all the money it brings. I don’t need to tell you a thousand times that I’m sold out for it, before it slips into your skull!”
“No… No…. No, Nancy.”
Dale walked up to Nancy very worried, and attempted to hold her hands, like he used to do it when the going was good. But he met with Nancy’s new attitude.
“No!” Nancy shouted, compelling Dale to withdraw his attempt. Dale could only have the option of looking on helplessly. “Dale,” Nancy went ahead. “You’re a very intelligent man, and you should have no problems whatsoever in figuring out my hands no longer welcome your touch.” She smiled.
“What the hell is that for?”
“Sweet heart, Richard and I can’t afford to miss the soothing hospitality of the Caribbean this week.”
Nancy began to walk away, leaving behind Dale, whom she had rendered speechless. But she stopped and turned back again to him, and smiled.
“Oh….. I almost forgot,” she said. “This is an update on the latest twist in staying in the game.”
“Isn’t Richard your nice friend?”
“I’m not sure.”
“He’s my worst enemy!”
“Richard is so nice to your long-standing friendship that he insisted you know about this twist.”
“I’m inviting divorce to catch up with you and I, baby. Isn’t Richard an exciting man very ripe for marriage?” Nancy smiled. “So long, Dale,” she continued. “Enjoy your great wealth.”
Dale had slumped by the time Nancy had finished. Nancy only threw a glance at him on the floor, shrugged her shoulders in such a way that showed she cared less about a man, now seen as a relic of her past, before she exited. And Dale and his pathetic state faded off fast.
Now revealed were Richard and Nancy, all Vivacious and smiles, walking away, hand in hand, with their luggage as well. They both faded off, and revealed were John and Jane, full of life and smiles, as they walked along, hand in hand, with Jane’s stomach protruded. They were soon seen no more. Then Rooney and Katy, walking along, hand in hand, full of excitement. Katy, now married, showed off a diamond ring on finger, with a radiant smile. They soon gave way to Kevin, who walked across already resigned to fate. Then Dale was revealed sitting on the floor of his tastefully furnished living room. But he was a shattered man. And scattered around him were different denominations of the British Pound Sterling. He was now a man resigned to alcoholic drinks intoxication once again. He belched. His right hand held a can of Becks beer, empty cans of Becks beer all littered around him. Dale was drinking his life away. Now who would be able to convince him that cheap bread does supply the mouth with sweetness, and that it does not leave the mouth full of millions of sand grains after it has been chewed?
“No...........! No.............! No! No! No.........” He began to scream all of a sudden. “Nancy, come back! No ……! That man must not continue to lick from my honey pot………! No! No! No! Nancy, stop!”
Mark, a tall and burly man, sprang up from his bed, and looked around his bedroom, with a lot of horror in his eyes, sweat dripping from his face. Then his attention turned to Diane, who heard him scream, and had rushed in, to know what was going on. She was a woman eight-foot tall, had a long blonde hair, and looked sexier with age.
“I think you had a nightmare, Mark,” said Diane, as she went closer, with the intention of touching Mark’s face. But Mark would not let her.
“Get out of here you bastard!” Mark screamed. “Nancy, get out! Don’t touch me!”
“Who’s Nancy?” Being very surprised, Diane asked.
“You!” Mark screamed again. “You’re Nancy! Nancy!”
“Stop being ridiculous, Mark. I’m Diane, your wife.”
“Hey! My name is Dale and not Mark!”
“No…. Your name is Mark.”
“No! Dale! And we all live in London!”
“London? No, Mark. This is Manhattan in New York.”
“Get out, Nancy! You bastard! Where is Rooney, my son?” Mark continued to scream.
“Rooney? Who are you talking about?”
“My son, of course! Rooney! Playing for one of the top football clubs in the world! Married to Katy. Our son gave her a diamond ring.”
“This is crazy.”
“Haven’t you heard? Our son, Rooney plays for Arsenal football club of England.”
“Mark, where have you been to?”
“Who’s Mark? I’m Dale!”
“Mark, our son Jason plays no soccer!”
“Jason? No! He’s not Jason but Rooney! He scores plenty of goals.”
“Our son Jason just dropped out of high school. He plays no soccer. He just hangs out with the thugs!”
“Fuck you, Nancy! Fuck your fucking monkey ass!”
“And fuck you too! You and your dog ass! And I’m not Nancy! I don’t know how you came up with that shit name, Nancy.”
“Oh…. Yes! I remember! Our son is a successful singer. Now signed to EMI in London. John our son is now married to Jane, daughter of Kevin, the owner of EMI records. I hope you know Jane is pregnant and full of sex to offer.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Mark.”
“I’m Dale the rich man. So rich by staying in the game.”
“You know what, Mark? I think you need some more medical attention in a mental institution. Give me a break!”
“I think you have to go back to New Jersey.”
“What? You call me New Jersey? My name is now New Jersey? What did you call me?”
“Give me a break!”
“Oh........? She needs a break to go for a cup of coffee...............”
Diane walked away from Mark’s bedroom. Her destination was the balcony, where she planned to stay away from Mark for a while.
Former congressman, Mark Nixon, had had his good days. He was a lover of democracy, staunch admirer of democratic ideals. He had been a brilliant mind, contributing intelligently and copiously to successes Congress of the ‘God’s Own Country’ recorded, while he was there. Especially all his well-orchestrated lobbies and efforts that squashed the formidable opposition from the Democratic Party dominated congress, to secure a speedy passage of a bill empowering research in developing human and animal hybrids. Nothing excited him more than the prospects of a hybrid resulting from crossing man and elephant. His fascination with breeding really erupted as a five year old boy, after watching a science documentary, in which he saw a hybrid that resulted from the cross between a goat and a dog. The hybrid could bark. It had horns and ate grass. Mark’s fascination brought him an ambition to study the genetics behind crossing. Poor Mark. He was not even a science student material at all, in spite of his drive. His grades were horrible and great travesty of his fascination. Mark had to settle for English language studies and creative writing, at the Long Island University in New York. He wrote two novels whose titles were, when monkeys refuse to mate with man and Cockroaches in the White House. Both titles later turned out to be international bestsellers translated into fifty other languages, from English.
The early nineteen nineties Iraq gulf war veteran, from Virginia, was once shrouded in the ambition to go for the exalted position of the United States President, on the platform of the Republican Party. Public opinion was massively in his favour. His campaign organization, ‘Mark for better America’, was raising funds. It got up to fifteen billion dollars from donations, to fund Mark’s campaign for the 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. None of Mark’s numerous supporters however, knew what lay ahead. They would have done all things possible to avert it, if they had known it was going to happen. Mark’s car started up that night. His heart was so heavy with sadness, as he drove out, and entered the road that ran straight for up to a mile, and turned with the curve beside which was a mountain. The tail light of Mark’s car moved in the dark like a ruby fired from a gun. He was driving so fast, so dangerously. He was very sad, as he drove, that he did not care to mind his speed. Then tyres squealed. Some rattling that rose to a very high pitch also came on. His car leaped off the road. What followed were crunching, ripping, and clinking noises. Then a big bang, as his car plunged into a valley, its rear tyres suspended in air like the hands of a surrendered soldier. Mark got hospitalised. He was so lucky he did not die. Delicate surgeries were carried out to treat numerous serious injuries which he sustained mostly on his neck and head. He was later discharged, after being hospitalised for three months. Mark began to recuperate. All seemed so well, until it got to a time, Diane, his wife, began to notice that he was no longer the same charming and lovely man she married. She saw that Mark was becoming strange in the ways he interacted with her. She also saw that he got violent sometimes, and even made moves and utterances that were threats to her life. Mark would sometimes want to try to scoop out her eyes with a spoon. He threw spoons and knives at her on many occasions, hurled his shoes at her too, over thirty times. There was a day he did something that really frightened the hell out of his wife. He picked up a gun and pointed it at Diane, who yelled and pleaded that he dropped it, to no avail. Mark pulled the trigger, and Diane knew that was her last moment alive, but saw she could still breathe afterwards, her heart thumping with much fear, as she panted, her hands strapped to her chest. Mark in his misdemeanour, did not know the gun was unloaded. Diane then knew it was time to go for some help, and very quickly too. She sought the attention of a doctor, who came over, and saw Mark talking to some invisible people. The doctor observed Mark for a while, and recommended that Diane alerted a mental institution. Diane quickly did so. It was later certified that Mark had developed mental problems after the car accident he had. He began receiving treatment in a New Jersey mental institution renowned for rehabilitating demented minds. His case got promising from the start. He began responding to treatment fast, much to the delight of all medical personnel involved in his treatment. It took a year before the seasoned professionals in the mental institution, got confident enough that they had done a job of treating Mark. Mark got discharged, and everything about him had got on very well, until now, he woke up from sleep.
Mark had been troubled before he had his fatal car accident. His African heritage had brought him sorrows. Mark’s father was from the most populous black nation on earth. He immigrated to the United States, where he lived, and married an Asian woman, who had emigrated from Singapore. Mark was the result of that marriage.
Mark was so sore when an evil military genius, squeezed life out of the freest and fairest presidential election ever conducted in Nigeria. And also hearing that sixteen billion dollars was sunk into the power sector in Nigeria, by the brute Civilian administration that held sway from the year nineteen ninety nine, to the year two thousand and seven, with only the supply of darkness to natural and corporate citizens to show for it, made him further sad. His heart was ripped apart when he understood too, that a female politician there, the first female, ever to lead The House Of Representatives, could not just keep her greed in check, as she went on to award contracts worth millions of dollars, just to refurbish her official apartment. Mark understood road networks in Nigeria remained in horrible shapes despite claims of millions of dollars appropriated for their construction and maintenance—obvious relics of corrupt practices and financial crimes, as a result of greed and disastrous leadership.
Mark was a man so haunted by so many ills eating up his native land.
He was however, happy sometimes, because he always thought that America in terms of racial make-up, was perhaps a country, whose uniqueness was beyond compare, with continued hope being given to humanity, that people of all shades, all pedigree and race can live together under the presidency of a half African. Thereby making the late Martin Luther King Junior, laugh, grin, chuckle and dance somewhere in tears of joy, as huge celebration is triggered amongst souls of many Africans, whose bodies were drowned to the bottom of slave shipping lanes, between the east coast of America and the west coast of Africa.
Mark’s election as the United States President would have had a chance to cleanse the entire fabric of the American society of remaining residues of racism. What a chance he could have had for a shot at fulfilling the American dream, ever so enshrined in the July four seventeen seventy six independence proclamation, that all men are created equal.
Mark trailed Diane to the balcony. And this was after he had dashed to the kitchen, clinking sounds having emanated from there, before he stepped off.
“Come on, Mark, drop that! Drop it!”
“Drop what? Drop what, Nancy?” Mark screamed.
“Drop that, okay?”
“You’re a woman stinking with adultery!” Mark screamed on, approaching Diane with a knife, putting up extremely wild cannibalistic gestures, as his lengthy tongue popped in and out of his mouth like that of a fire-breathing dragon. His entire mood and mind-set were not far from being that of a vampire that suddenly sighted fresh human blood. Mark was bare-footed. He stood seven feet tall with hairy hands and legs that could prove his very first ancestors were indeed gorillas. Clad on white pants and tight blue shirt, his square jaw very prominent with sparse grey and black hair distribution. His eyes were looking very fierce.
“No, Mark! You don’t want to stab me!”
Diane was now visibly shaken by large chunk of fear, her hands and legs trembling more than the rest of her body, as Mark closed in. She had nowhere to run actually. Except she could derive Superman’s awesome flying abilities, and plunge from nowhere else but the balcony. Sad enough, she was mere human, a mere woman not equipped with fictional flying capabilities of the Spiderman as well. Most unfortunately, she did not travel to Beijing in China, for the two thousand and eight Olympics, where she could have stood a chance of learning from the Chinese, who made a man fly, in their superlative opening ceremony.
“Now, Nancy, where’s Richard?” Mark screamed. His tongue popped out, and snapped back into his mouth.
“Please drop the knife. I don’t know!”
“You don’t know? Oh….. I see. She doesn’t know her lover boy…..”
“I swear! I don’t know!”
“The rich man you’ve been sleeping with.”
“Please drop the knife, Mark! I will explain!”
“Oh……. She will explain? Fine..... And my name is Dale for your urgent information. Never call me Mark again! Mark is a fool and a mad man. I’m not mad. I’m not.”
Mark dropped the knife his right hand carried, on the floor. He lurched towards Diane, and grabbed her neck, offering an ominous smile. Then he put out his tongue, and ran it quickly along Diane’s neck, and withdrew it. “Oh...what a nice lick of your sweet neck,” he said playfully, licked his lips and giggled.
“Please don’t hurt me,” Diane pleaded. “Please. You’re not about to hurt your wife.”
“I’m not going to do that. The knife is gone, my baby.”
Mark licked a portion of Diane’s neck again, sticking his tongue out of his mouth, like a snake. He withdrew his tongue into his mouth, and admired Diane’s neck for a while.
“I can feel fresh blood good enough for a vampire like me in there...,” he said, giggled, and licked Diane’s neck again.
“Please don’t bite,” Diane continued to plead. “You’re not a vampire, Mark. Please don’t hurt me. Please.....”
“Oh...... So much fresh.......fresh..... Fresh.....blood..... Do you want a bite, Nancy? You need a bite........?”
“Please don’t hurt me. Please…….”
“What explanation do you have, my lusty blonde wife?”
“I’ve done no such thing. You know I’ve always been faithful to you. Please don’t hurt me. I’m your wife. I’m Diane! Don’t you remember?”
“O.....yeah? My wife my monkey ass. I do remember my wife Nancy, who left me for Richard.”
“Oh… yeah? Shut up your donkey mouth, Nancy! You never planned to divorce me for Richard?”
“I swear! I don’t even know any Richard!”
“The movie tycoon that owns ‘Playing Games Pictures’ in Hollywood?”
“Never heard of him! I don’t know him! I swear....!”
“Shut up your fucking mouth! Now I see you want to play tough, huh...?”
“Shut that monkey mouth of yours! You’ve been having sweet copious sex with him from one city to another. Global coital-marathon!”
“You know it! Say yes with your fucking mouth. Yes! Yes! Say yes!”
“I don’t know any Richard!”
“You didn’t do it with him? From Paris to Amsterdam to Rio to Hollywood to New York and others. Isn’t it, baby?”
“I did no such thing! Please don’t hurt me.....!”
“Who’s Richard?” Mark’s decided vicious voice, full of intimidating threats, went off again. Diane screamed. Her legs were now being raised off the ground, by hands whose intention was for her head to go first, down from the seventeenth floor apartment. One stretched scream erupted. Another one followed. A third one went off in quick succession. Too bad! Diane could not hold out for long now. And who would dare say the atmosphere that prevailed, was not laden with a bloody stench of approaching homicidal lunacy, which warranted dialling nine-one-one?
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