Parresia Blog | Vaults of Secrets Competition
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Leaving the office at VI in my car, I thought about the mission. A lot of things didn’t add up, but I wasn’t paid to ask questions. My thoughts made me sloppy and I didn’t realize I had a tail till I left Obalende,

— #VoS Contest – The Cleaner

Sogbesan Adewale Joseph*


I was known as “The Cleaner” and I was the best cleaner they ever had. I’ve been all over the country cleaning up after the messes of others. I’m a member of the Special Black Ops, a top-secret division of the Nigerian Army. So secret, we don’t exist. We work in the interest of National Security. I’ve had training stints on intelligence gathering, survival training, marksmanship and weaponry and advanced martial arts with MOSSAD, MI 6 and the U.S Navy Seals. I was the best, no, I am the best. I completed my last mission, cleaning the President’s mess, and submitted my debriefing and was granted a long overdue leave.
Leaving the office at VI in my car, I thought about the mission. A lot of things didn’t add up, but I wasn’t paid to ask questions. My thoughts made me sloppy and I didn’t realize I had a tail till I left Obalende, I switched lanes many times but the tail was good. I was better. Whoever they were, they were not pretending. I fixed my phone on the dashboard, opened an app to activate the spy camera at the back of my car, zoomed in and finally got a clear shot of a face. “Dammit!” It was Prodigy and my team. Why would they be on my tail?
I quickly called Waheed, a top Makoko underworld kingpin, and told him I was coming in hot. He was to get the speedboat ready. Prodigy was closing in fast now. I wasn’t going to make it at this rate. On the third mainland bridge now, nearing the turnoff to Adekunle, I switched to the lane on my left, away from the exit, traffic was light and they were now right behind. I feigned to the left, swung hard to my right, and took the Adekunle exit with a loud screech.
The manoeuvre bought me some seconds but they were right behind me again. Instinct had me steal a glance. “Oh, Shit! These motherfuckers aren’t kidding!” Head bowed, I swapped to the left as bullets rained on my car, smashing the rear windscreen. Another quick look over my shoulders and I knew it was over. Deadshot was aiming with an RPG on his shoulder. I was target practice for him, a sitting duck. My last mission was to leave no witness alive, which makes me the last witness. I pointed my car towards the railings at full speed just as Deadshot pulled the trigger. I watched the rocket speed towards me and smiled. I win.
My car crashed into the bridge and lifted just as the rocket crashed into my trunk giving me maximum lift-off. The explosion was loud and fiery, it was beautiful. I dove through the open window of the passenger door into the depth of the Lagoon. I was home. My resurrection will shake the foundation of this country. I had always been a ghost, but this ghost holds a treasure load of secrets.

 

 

*Sogbesan Adewale Joseph is the 2nd prize winner of the Vaults of Secrets Flash Fiction Contest.

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