Samuel Cobby Grant
Kofi Frimpong wiped the salty sweat that rolled freely down his face as he climbed up the dangerous mountain. The ascent was quite steep and he, being an experienced mountaineer, trudged on gamely with his backpack strapped to his back.
It wasn’t as if he had never been there before but the steep and narrow paths had always been a challenge.
He vividly recalled the conversation he had had with the President the night before when he had briefed him on his findings so far concerning the disappearance of Issah Musah. And he was quite impressed with the President’s succinct analysis of the situation.
“His disappearance could be a prelude to an attack ofsorts on our nation,” he had remarked in a crisp tone.
“Yes Sir!” he had said to the man he revered above everyone else.
“And don’t forget that to catch a fish, you need a fisherman. And to catch a fisherman, you need a very large fish. Remember that,” he said, making it obvious that he knew what he was up against.
“Sure, Sir,” he had said and had given a smart salute..
That was what prompted him to make this trip to the mountains. To seek the way forward.
He walked, bent slightly forward as he paced himself towards the zenith of the mountain. He got to the summit at sundown and pitched camp. He chose a place that had a rock formation like an igloo. He loved those times of being out in the open all by himself. It always gave him the right perspective on things only nature could inspire.
He lit a fire and placed the cocoyam he brought into the very centre of it. And the koobi too. He went about it methodically, calmly precisely. The mouth-watering supper was ready in no time and he did justice to it.
He spent three days there; meditating, hunting and formulating plans for the task on hand. He knew his adversaries could be dangerous but he had his plans on how to outwit them andsafeguard the security of the State. From whoever they were.
He expertly slit the belly of the kusie he had trapped, had removed its intestines and placed it on the tripod he had made over the fire. He revolved it from time to time, its fat oozing out onto the fire making it sizzle.
He was whistling as if he hadn’t a care in the world except for what he was doing with the game.
A dry twig crunched and he froze, his hand hovering around the hunting knife strapped to his boot. Another crunch, closer this time, and he got up and leapt to the entrance of the cave, waiting silently.
He heard a chuckle, then a croaky voice that said,
“I came to dinner, but not to have a knife stuck in my ribs”
He stood up then and smiled widely. The man whom he had made the trip for made his entrance. Kofi Frimpong didn’t even know whether he was the guest or the host. After all, the man owned the mountain and the valleys and the plains. The 80-year-old man was a former Paramount Chief and he had located to the village when chieftaincy was abolished some half a century ago, choosing to live a humble life. He was an avowed critic of governments but had a soft spot for the current occupier of the Gold House.
They embraced warmly, the Mentor and the Protege.
They then sat down to enjoy the kusie andpalm wine from the decanter the old man had with him.
“Now, what ails my beloved Ghana,” he had asked as he puffed on the pipe in his mouth after they were done with the meal.
“Ahh, beloved Ghana,” Kofi Frimpong said in a very low voice as he showed his exasperation. “Ghana’s enemies are becoming bolder and bolder.”
He then went on to tell his Mentor of all the happenings. From the disappearance of Issah Musah to the growing campaign to make the President unpopular. Nana Kofi Manu listened silently, his hand against his chin.
“I think the disappearance of Issah Musah is at the crux of the mystery. They mean to destabilize Ghana. It’s only a smart move on their part to remove the only person who could stop them in their tracks.”
“You sound as if you know them,” Kofi Frimpong said.
“From your narrative. And I dare say that the English, the French and the Germans are in it together.”
“How did you arrive at this conclusion so quickly?” he asked, wanting to tease his brain.
“One, all three languages revealed the same thing in your probes. More so, ‘fishermen guard fish’ seems to be a code that could deceive a lot of people. Two, the fish is a very important symbol in the history and folklore of Europe, especially among the fishing community of Marseille.”
“I see,” he said, dumbfounded.
“Now show me what you haven’t shown to me yet,” he said as he blew the ashes from the pipe.
The younger man smiled and took out the paper given to Ataa Adjoa at the German Consulate from his wallet.
The Octogenarian collected the slip of paper, sniffed at it and looked at it with a small pocket torch to see whether there could be any watermarks.
“Further lab analysis could reveal a whole lot but just the script alone makes an interesting read,” he said with satisfaction.
“How so?” Kofi Frimpong said “I can’t see anything of substance in it.”
The old man smiled at him and said.
” ‘I’m swimming in your love’ could mean Issah Musah (I’m) is swimming, and one can only swim in water if one were in it, right?”
“Right,” replied the younger man, his mouth opened in surprise.
“And the other part of the sentence is ‘I’m helpless before the boat in your moat’ could also mean that Issah Musah (I’m) is helpless in a submarine, referred to as a boat by submariners, in a moat, which is the same as water.”
“Wow,” Frimpong exclaimed stupefied.
“Your slave could either mean Issah Musah is imprisoned like a slave, or the sender is willing to help us in anything like a slave,” Kofi Frimpong chipped in.
“Exactly. I am beginning to get intrigued by this Bruno Schnell fella,” he said and proceeded to refill the pipe.
“Schnell in Germans means ‘fast’, ” Maybe he’s asking us to act fast,” Frimpong said enlightened.
“And don’t forget that Bruno is brun in German, meaning ‘brown’ in English.”
“My checks in the consulate so far haven’t revealed anyone in there by that name, but Ataa Adjoa said the one who handed her the note had brown eyes and hair.”
“Now we are getting somewhere. If an employee of the German government gives us an insight about the abduction of Issah Musah all I’ll ask is why, though I know for a fact that some of Germany’s powerful citizenry would frown on his abduction,” he said, rubbing his chin.
They talked deep into the night, when the fire had died down and it was only the starry night that was their only witness. A wonderful diamond-studded sky was beautiful when viewed from the top of the mountain.
They made conjectures, and formulated plans and strategies.
“I hope you are going to continue updating me on developments as they come in,” the old man said as he made himself comfortable on a rug.
“You bet your last pesewa I will.”
“Young man, I don’t have pesewas. I have large amounts of Cedis,” Nana Kofi said humorously and they chuckled in that unholy hour.
Why didn’t you remarry,” Kofi Frimpong asked him after a while
“Because of work. Let me also ask you. Why didn’t you marry Ataa Adjoa,” he shot back at him.
“Because of work,” he imitated the old man.
“You are not correct,” he said affectionately.
Kofi remained silent. He didn’t even know the answer to the question. All he knew was that getting married to Ataa Adjoa wasn’t right considering the kind of job he was in. His job was a dangerous one and it could lead to his death so he wasn’t going to make her a widow by marrying her. Regardless, constantly seeing her makes his heart take a lurch. Seeing her with that idiot, David Muller was heart wrenching and infuriating but it was his choice, not hers.
He left the mountains two days later after spending a day with the old Chief at his hamlet where he was feted with fufu and ebunuebunu soup with akrantse meat and its droppings, including mushrooms.
IN THE SUB
Issah Musah cried in pain as he was hit with a drum stick yet again. They had started to torture him at dawn when he had refused to give answers to their questions on the identities of Ghana’s agents in Europe. They wanted to know how the network was run. They had kept at it for close to five hours but he had proved resistant.
Blood streamed down his face and he was in pain but he still resisted and said nothing. He knew that once he started talking, it could lead to other secrets being sought from him and that could irreparably compromise the security of the state.
They applied electrical shock to his body and he passed out. They left him then and went in thirty minutes later to revive him and continue with the torture.
By day one, he had a cut on his right eyebrow, swollen cheeks and puffy lips. The only credible sounds they got out of him were taunting and defiance.
On Day two of interrogation, both hands were chained, just like the legs and hanged from the ceiling, just like a Punching Bag.
He swayed from side to side as hard punches were pummeled into him. His screams filled out the bunk as punches and kicks were given to him repeatedly.
The only question they asked him on day two was, “Are you ready to talk now?”
He had once replied with a blood mixed saliva spit into the face of one of them and it had earned him a heavy boot with a steel-toed boot.
They resorted to electric shocks again when they got tired. He mercifully passed out again and a doctor was called in to revive him.
This was the norm.
He was tortured, patched, and tortured again, again and again.
SOMEWHERE IN ACCRA
Abeiku Sosa, the Veep was a very satisfied man indeed. He had found out that his fears of any repercussions of the death of Abena Dompey were unfounded. In fact, it had brought in huge financial returns. He was aware that with the removal from office of the President, he was the next in line to assume the High Office, so he had commenced with steps to remove the Army Commander and for a General, a man of dubious character, marked as the one to be his successor. He also according to instructions from his financiers, had put in place plans to have the head of the President’s Security detail removed from office.
Information had been leaked to the press regarding the unpatriotic acts by both the Army Commander and the head of the presidential bodyguards. Pictures were circulating on social media of them in sexual orgies with women who were not their wives. The President had so far, resisted the pressure to remove them. He was the one circulating the supposedly incriminating evidence through third parties to the press in exchange for campaign funds.
“I am a lucky man,” he said contentedly as his eyes darted to the sleeping Otubea lying beside him. A surge of desire coursed through him and he began to pinch an exposed nipple with a thumb and index finger. It was quite painful and a cry escaped from her. She sleepily pushed his hand away and turned, facing the other way. He turned her back to face him and pinched the other nipple very hard making her cry out. Tears stung her eyes and she looked up at him. She saw desire precipitated by her pains. She also saw a vicious look on his face as he leered at her. She saw the unspoken command and laid on her back and opened her legs wide as he climbed on top of her to have his way. He was soon done and was snoring heavily as if there was no tomorrow. She stared at the ceiling in misery and thought about how long she was going to be able to hold on in the face of these perversions.
Chairman Siriboe had an easy task as compared to what the Veep had been asked to do. He had been having a massive inflow of funds to ensure that he got the right delegates elected to vote against Aaron Awuku in the next primaries of the party and for whoever was brave enough to contest against him in the challenge for the flag bearership of the party. He was happy because more than half of the money was going to find its way into his offshore accounts. He smiled at the thoughts of his sudden affluence.
His mind went to the black beauty who he learned, was Sosa’s Aide. He had a strong conviction that he was more than an aide but that he was bonking her but he felt she was worth dying for.
“I wouldn’t mind having a piece of her too,” he mused and imagined how he was going to rumble with her when he finally got her.
President Awuku was in a pensive mood. He had done what he had to do regarding the vacuum created by the absence of Issah Musah.
He had had a long chat with Squadron Leader Kofi Frimpong and he was glad about the kind of sitrep the man had produced. He had accepted his recommendations, amazed at his in-depth analysis and was even more impressed with his strategies, especially, the red herring he had suggested they put in the way of the abductors.
“This man is really a Patriot,” he said silently to himself “he’s such an asset to the nation.”
His next agenda was to decide on what to do about the cases of the two men he trusted with his life. The Army Commander and the Chief Bodyguard. In view of the massive campaign to get them removed, the pressure on him had become great but he had a strong conviction that they were calculated steps to force his hand into firing them. He was very sure of their honesty and patriotism for which reason he had appointed them in the first place but he was placed in a tight corner. He didn’t want to be seen as protecting dishonest people. Even Kofi Frimpong had commented on it but was confused about the accusations when they met.
The Veep had been adamant about firing them to save the image of the Presidency.
He sighed and placed a call to his Secretary.
“Please draft a letter for the suspension of the Army Chief and Chief of Presidential Guards pending an inquiry on their conduct,” he said and left to be with his family.
They always relieved him of his stresses.
This story is an AREWAH WRITING CONTEST 2022 entry. Remember to drop your comments and share the links widely.
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