I am an executioner. This is what I do for a living. I've killed men. I've killed women. I've killed young. I've killed old. Recently, I killed a child. She looked so peaceful in her cot where she laid. As I lifted her to my chest, she smiled at me. Little did she know I was there to shut her eyes forever.
Everything has changed since the last event. The smile on the little baby's face murdered my sleep. I saw blood every time I closed my eyes. I needed peace of mind and the only way to achieve it was to stop being an executioner and perhaps go for an atonement of sins. I stood up from the couch and walked around barefoot , stopping abruptly Infront of a picture of my wife, our little girl and i. I picked up the picture and touched their faces. The realisation that I may never see them again hit me, ripping my heart into shreds in a colourless abyss.
Flora was livid when I confessed to her. "Murderer", she had screamed at me as flashes of anger sparked through her. Her eyes were filled with so much hate the tears that followed could not drown it. Perhaps she still hates me but I'm grateful she accepted to do as I asked. Knowing they are safe gives me some level of peace. It was imperative they left, not after the difficult decision I was faced with.
I had joined the brotherhood in my university days. I had sworn an oath to be together forever. I had sworn to take out the enemies but nobody told me the child of an enemy will someday come with the package. I wanted out and I had to speak with Jando, the ringleader who was the only one with the powers to grant my wish.
"You'd rather be an apostate?" He had asked with puffs of smoke accompanying each word.
"Yes! I no longer sleep at night", I replied with my voice cautious and level. I dared not look at him. I felt every pore on my face saturated with heat. I felt his piercing eyes on me and then his voice spoke, "You think we sleep at night? Sleep is not our friend in this business but I thought you already knew that. Whatever made you soft?".
Jando threw an envelope at me forcing me to raise my head and look at him. "It's okay if you want to leave but there's one last job for you to do", he said.
I opened the envelope to find the picture of my last victim. My eyebrows raised and my eyes widened as I beheld my father in it. My father is a renowned pastor and lately he has been preaching against the corrupt politicians. What could be worse than killing my own father?
"Your family". Jando replied, startling me. Does he have access to my thoughts? "You know how this works Ben", he continued. " A life for a life. You refuse and we come after you and your family".
That was the moment I realised I was never going to leave, at least not the easy way and that was why Flora had to find out something she never knew about me. The plan was for her to take only her passport and a purse as she leaves the house the next day at the same time she usually drops off our daughter at school. She would take a taxi to make anyone watching see she was not with a suitcase or anything that suggested a runaway. Good thing, the plan worked.
Unfortunately, convincing my father proved difficult. My father was shocked to see me walk into his office inside the church building after fifteen years. My face was reddened with embarrassment as I approached him and took a seat he didn't offer.
"Has the prodigal son returned home? He asked.
I looked at him sitting comfortably on his executive chair. The years had been good to him as not a single grey hair was present at 60 and only a few wrinkles under his eyes.
"Dad, your life is in danger. You need to leave the country now!" I replied in hushed tones.
The sound of his laughter echoed through the walls of the empty church. I expected that. A son who had been unreachable for fifteen years coming to play saviour would be funny even to me but my next words burnt the laughter.
"I'm an executioner and I have orders to kill you". The words left my mouth cold and stale. I never would have thought I would say those words to my father. I watched as disappointment washed over his face.
"I knew you were a disgrace to this family but I never knew you'd grow to become the devil," he replied as he stood up from his chair, fisting his hands on the table. "You are a vampire, you suck the blood out of every living thing that comes your way. Know this! I'll never leave my ministry and hide like a coward. If I must die, then let it be so, at least I died standing for what I believe ".
My father's words were final. If I don't kill him, another would, he will die either way. "No family, no friends and no foes", was our chant but this is reality and the brotherhood has hit me where it hurts the most.
I drove straight to the police station and asked to see the officer in charge. With evidence; pictures of my victims and the recent envelope containing the picture and details of my father, I told the officer my story. I revealed the location of the syndicate and every information about each and every member in return for the protection of my father. I was arrested and locked behind bars but I expected that. I'd rather die by the hands of the law than in the hands of the brotherhood, the latter's method, very unorthodox.
I am an executioner. This is what I do for a living. I've killed men. I've killed women. I've killed young but the last thing I would do is kill my father.