05 Jan And they killed the Commissioner’s Wife, Theodora
Theodora got the call from Camp later that morning. He wasn’t coming home, but it had to remain a secret. She understood. It chilled her how far this had all gone. She became restless. The children were being especially bad, fighting and arguing. This often happened when their father was away. Theodora finally stood up and announced that they were going on an excursion. How would they like to visit their favourite restaurant? The kids jumped for joy and ran to get their shoes on.
Two hours later, Theodora sat with her children in an air-conditioned place that served everything kids liked, greasy items with lots of condiments. But it was the desserts her kids loved. And she let them order whatever they wanted.
The place was half way on the road to Limi, and Theodora was tempted to drive the rest of the way and surprise her husband. But she thought better of it, knowing the kind of pressure he was under and the dangers that might meet them. But watching her kids gobble their desserts, she suddenly had a feeling of hope that this terrible period in their lives would pass. They’d been so happy in New York, and on a day like this would typically go to the Bronx Zoo or the Museum of Natural History or Coney Island.
Later that afternoon, as evening was settling in, Theodora packed the kids into their car and started the long drive back to Bammak City.
As they drove, the sun set and darkness took over. The children, exhausted after the fun meal, slept in the back seat, peacefully. Theodora thought of how she’d call Idi when they arrived home and tell him of the day and how she anticipated many such fun times ahead. She had a premonition of peace and tranquillity for all of them.
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Jonas and one of his hired guns leaned against the hood of a large dark Sedan waiting. They knew Camp would drive past this spot on his way back from Limi. Not much traffic passed by this lonely spot and so he would be easy to spot.
Jonas decided to make the run himself this time to assure there were no missteps. He couldn’t afford to fail once again, nor could he afford to lose more men. His agreements always called for restitution to the family of his slain soldiers and so far, he owed a bundle.
Jonas watched the road through night vision binoculars, which allowed him to see every detail of an approaching car. He could read a license plate. The road stretched out ahead for more than half a mile. This would give him plenty of time to get back into the driver’s seat and pull out behind the commissioner’s car. There was a stretch of lonely desert ahead with sharp drop offs into the sand. One ravine was especially steep and jagged with rocks. If a car plunged into it, survival was unlikely. But if anyone did make it, he would finish the job.
Finally, Jonas spotted the Volkswagen; distinctive, it belonged to the Commission of Agriculture and Camp’s plates said “AG 1.”
The car sped past, and though it was too dark to see inside, Jonas knew this had to be Camp. He followed, his compatriot smoking quietly beside him, his semi-automatic ready if something went awry. But it wouldn’t. Not this time.
In Camp’s car, Theodora became aware of a set of headlights closing in quickly. She tried slowing down, but the car behind her didn’t move to pass. Her eyes went wide as the car suddenly shot right up to their bumper, bright lights suddenly flaring in her eyes, blinding her as they reflected off the rear view mirror.
Jonas had positioned himself exactly where he needed to be; just ahead, off to the right, was the ravine he had chosen. There he would make his move.
He swung his car left and jammed his foot on the accelerator, bringing his vehicle parallel with Theodora’s. She glanced through her rolled up window and thought she saw two figures in the large dark- coloured sedan to her left. She couldn’t see their features.
Instinctively, Theodora took her foot off the accelerator, slowing down, but Jonas slowed with her. Panic setting in, Theodora slammed her foot down on the accelerator and her car shot ahead. She was trying to flee, but Jonas had been waiting for the driver to try to outrun him. He wanted the target’s car to be going at a high speed before making his move. The faster the car travelled, the harder it would be to control when bumped and the more violent the impact when it smashed into the ravine.
Jonas floored the pedal and caught up to the Volkswagen. He then edged over to the right and let his bumper brush Theodora’s bumper. It wasn’t a hard hit, but it didn’t have to be. It was just enough to throw the lightweight car into an uncontrolled lurch. The tires skidded and caught the rough edge of the road. The momentum of the speeding vehicle carried it further to the right toward the ravine.
Inside the car, Theodora barely had time to think before she plunged off the road. He children still slept in the backseat. The instant before impact, it flashed through Theodora’s mind that she had allowed them to take off their seat belts so they could stretch out and lay down and that she was driving this car because she had convinced her husband to swap in order to keep him safe. Panic and a sick feeling swept over her. But only for a split-second.
Jonas brought his sedan to a stop. He grabbed a long flashlight from the back seat. “Wait here,” he told his companion.
“What if someone comes by?” the man asked.
“If they stop, kill them.”
Jonas made his way down to the wreck, twenty feet below the main road. He moved to the twisted car and approached the driver’s side. The window was shattered and a bloody hand lay across the steering wheel. He thought it belonged to Camp or his driver. When he flashed the light onto the face of the victim, he was shocked to see a woman. Her head was bleeding. She opened her eyes and looked at him, barely conscious.
Jonas flicked the light around the inside of the car. He saw two children, both dead. One was in the back seat, one had been thrown into the front passenger side.
Jonas stepped back to think. He had missed Camp, but this was his car. He realized it had to be Camp’s family. Jonas cursed to himself, not because he’d killed two children, but because he’d missed his target. Again. At least he hadn’t lost any men this time. Jonas pulled a pair of latex gloves from his pocket and snapped them on. He reached into the car where the woman had raised her head slightly. Her eyes begged for help. He snapped her neck with one quick motion, feeling neither pleasure nor remorse. It was done as mechanically as if he had turned off a water faucet.
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