Night Criminal

— the murder house —

Location 1

EXT-DAY- Road, in a Car

The camera comes upon a man who is driving along a lonely road leading to Nsukka.  The surrounding environment is green and luxurious. The road is muddy and clumpy. The man drives the car, talking to himself, his thoughts buried in his mind. There is a soft breeze blowing.

Mr Bayo: (speaks calmly to himself as he drives).  I was  talking to Femi the other day and he was smiling at me. It was funny to him; the way he wanted to hide that smile which was slowly creeping up to his face. He did not want to show me how irritated he was to what I was thinking. This was the same way he behaved on the day I told him about my dream with Funmi. To him, he loved Funmi more and since he had tried all he could and could not get her, no one will. Femi had known Funmi as a good woman who had garish rashes on her face and arms, before she transformed to become the rich and beautiful lady she is today. Then, the rashes on her face were so much that kids used it taunt themselves. ‘Oh, misus, you want to have a face as close as Mrs Funmi’s face, huh,’ or ‘Oh, master, your face comes close to surpassing Mrs Funmi’s face with the battle of blemishes on it.’ I wondered now if that was the exact way they had things like this to themselves, or whether they added a few things, those naughty children. I cannot not totally remember now. So, Mrs Funmi had visited our side once, and that is how Femi and I had seen something strange and beautiful in her visit in the way she sat in our church, clapping the loudest and singing the loudest, filled with glory and beauty.

Mr Bayo takes in a deep breath and drums on the steering wheel with his fingers.

Bayo:     Ever since she came into know us (stuttered) …  I mean ever since she came, our lives have never been the same. For one, I had never seen Femi so happy before, and it had to be because of Funmi. Mrs Funmi visited and started teasing him about the way he looked fine when they got to start talking to each other. Before that day, Femi had thought her to be this mean looking woman. Then, there love graduated and she played with the pocket of his undersized shirt, and Femi tried all he could to conceal the smile which was creeping up on his face all the time. The idiot! I saw all of those. He could not hide it; his face broke open and a smile announced itself. All these he enjoyed and did not want me to have a taste of it. (Hisses).

Mr Bayo reaches for a bible he placed on the dashboard, picks it and waves it at himself.

Bayo:      Good Lord, I know you would guide me as I go to seek a life partner. Funmi is the right person fit for me. She has the heart and the money. Funmi, you should know that I am coming. I am just thinking about you. About your kind of people. You are so good. How are you people related to the people on earth? What do you people do? I mean it is rare to find such woman now. (Smiles to himself). I do not know if your parents are still around, but they formed you well. Your old man must be proud of himself and lifting his head higher. He must be smoothing his legs wherever he is. I do not think I am ready to talk about this things in the way it shacks me right now. And I bet that it would be hard for Mrs Funmi to fully love me at the moment. I pray I do not bore her to death.  I pray that it does not become a long boring stuff which she may not love to get disturbed with.  I pray it works out well and she accepts my proposal after helping her stop the man attacking her in her estate. Amen.

Light Fades

— the murder house —

Location 2

EXT/INT – DAY – Outside the House, Inside the House

Mr Bayo stops his car very close to a good-looking bungalow in the middle of a large expanse of land. He steps out with his bible and watches the magnificent house, his mouth wide opened. He shakes his head, closes the car door and begins to walk to the house. There were purple flowers close to the front of her raised stone porch.

— the murder house —

Bayo:   Great! (He picked a stock of flower, climbed onto the porch and smelled the flower). Phew. They smell like skunk. (He tossed the flowers off the porch and knocked on the door). Phew.

A boy about the age of eight stepped out and opened the door. The boy came out with a frown and a very frozen face. Bayo tucked his bible beneath his arm and did not move a muscle.

Bayo:      Well done, boy. Is your mother in?

Sege:      Mom.! A man is searching for you standing on the porch. (He slammed the door on Bayo’s face and left him outside).

Bayo:     (whispers to himself).  You got that right. I am here to see and get close to your mother. Damn! This place is huge, Funmi is doing well. I did not know that her place is as big as this, it looks quite grand.

Funmi opens the front door and smiles politely, a stern look in her normally gorgeous eyes.

Bayo:      Good day, my sweet Funmi. I am very sorry that I did not inform you before coming.  Would you forgive me?

Funmii:     (softens her stern look). Mr Bayo. Ahn-an. It has been such a long time. I did not know that you can locate my place place without getting directions from me. Of course, you are forgiven. I do not mind. You can come in.

Mr Bayo enters the house, walking past Mrs Funmi.

— the murder house —

Funmi:      Have you eaten? You look awful! (Closes the door and it closes with a thud).

Bayo:      Thanks. I have not eaten anything much, but I think I had something light before coming to this place. I bought some snacks, too.

Funmi:   Didn’t you get any sleep last night?  (She leads him down into the sitting room). Not much. I still feel rotten about what happened the last time we met as it was on my mind throughout the time I was preparing to come. (She walkes toward the kitchen without looking back).

Bayo:    Listen, I am very sorry about what happened at that time. I was younger and naive. Then, too, I had not given my life to Christ. Now, I am a changed man in some kind of ways. I would also love to note that I noticed a truck turning off the road while I was coming here. They had a calf in the back. Are you sure it is not from your estate?

Funmi glanced back and shrugged, not interested in that either. They had never talked about what he did in sometime past, what was on her mind, was what brought him here. She steadied her eyes on him.

Funmi:   What brought you here, to my house? You have not told me what brought you here to my house? You seem to know so much about what has been happening around me? It has been a long time since we last talked.

Bayo:    True, I have been getting details of your life from our fellow church members. I know about the threat on your life and your newly acquired business from your late husband’s will. Now might be a good time to have a talk with them …

Funnmi:  (voice raised). Talk to who? What are you talking about?

— the murder house —

Bayo:    To the people around you about the consistent attack on you and your properties. They could have a good knowledge about what is causing the attacks and how to stop them?

Funmi:   (turns face away from him). Mr Bayo, we have done all these things and more. So, I don’t think you should be troubling yourself with the situation. Is that what you came for, to protect and safeguard me, or to apologize for what you did when you … (pauses) … as you said, when you were naive?

Bayo:    (moves closer, breathing heavily). My Funmi, I came here to apologize for the stupid thing I did and also to protect you after I heard your life was in danger. I am now a born-again Christian and is ready to guard you no matter what.

Funmi:   I do not think that is a great idea, but you can make yourself feel at home. (Leaves for the kitchen).

Bayo:   (smiles, lifts his hand in the air and jumps). Yes! This is the time to make things right.

— the murder house —

Light Fades

— the murder house —

Location 3

INT – NIGHT- Inside the House

The camera shows on the family eating dinner at the dinning table with four seats. Bayo, Shege and Funmi are eating at the dinning table. While Sege and Bayo chew their food in a greedy manner, Funmi takes a bite once in a while and stares at the area above her head. She looked deeply lost in thoughts. Bayo looks up and notices.

Bayo: What could be wrong? Why are you not eating the food the way you are supposed to eat? The rice on your plate mostly lies uneaten. What could be the problem?

Funmi: (inhales). It is this attack that has been ongoing in this house. It is becoming too much these days. Whenever it is about to happen, I always have the feeling that it would come. Like today I am having a feeling it would happen …

Bayo:  What?

Sege:  Mummy, will it?

Funmi: (fixes her eyes on her son, stretches her hand and holds him). Yes, it will happen. It  would come this night … We have to be ready?

Bayo: (swallows, visibly afraid). This night? It would happen this night? At what time? How would it happen? In what particular location?

Funmi: You have to take it easy, Bayo. Ask your questions one after another, let me know how best to reply them and see how we can go about it since you said you want to protect us?

Bayo:  What time do you think the attack would come today?

Funmi:  Well, judging from how it happens in the past, I would say the attack usually happens between 9 pm and 11 pm. It never exceeds that. I think the person does it on purpose. He wants us to be seeing him in the act. Many times he has always wanted to come in here, but our barricade and door is always too strong for him to break through without him wasting time and being caught. The iron bars on our windows are good too and the roof is made of concrete. We just thank God he does not come with guns.

Bayo:  What if he comes with guns?

Funmi: If he comes with guns, he can easily shoot through the windows, or he might even use a strong gun and shoot the door open. I doubt if any gun can break this door though. Even if the door is broken, the barricade is still there. So my son and I and whoever is with us watch in horror as he pillages the property. Stealing a goat or two or murdering a cow.

— the murder house —

Bayo: Has he ever tried breaking in here?

Funmi: Yes. Multiple times, but it does not work. (Inhales and Exhales). One day we do hope to catch him finally and hand him over to the proper authorities. I am tired of seeing his horrible acts and his horrible face …

Bayo:  He leaves his face uncovered?

Funmi: Of course, no. He does not. His face is masked. (Pauses and looks squarely at Bayo). How do you intend to confront him anyway? I don’t think you are with a gun, so how do you intend to confront him?

Bayo:  Leave that to me. He is a man like me, I will show him what a fellow man can also do.

Funmi: I have told you that there have been countless attempts to stop him, but it does not just happen. He beats the men who try to stop him at all points. One was killed on my property, and I had to pay heavily for his burial and the welfare of the wife and children he left. This unknown man has become so tormenting to my life that I had to nickname him Richard. Mr Richard, my nemesis …

— the murder house —

Bayo:  Richard? (Laughs). What a funny name. What of the policemen, haven’t you involved them? They should do a really nice work if you involve them …

Funmi: Those ones would say they cannot come and be in the house at night since the man only attack at night. Although they sent a team of three for one week once and the man did not attack. He knew they were here. Any time I have two or more men guarding the place, he does not attack.(Exhales and throws her head down in a sad emotion looking like defeat). I am just tired of all of it.

Bayo: (stands). Don’t worry, I will bring to an end today. This will be the last time you would be attacked in your home. I will deal with him! Deal with him ruthlessly that he would never forget it in his entire life!

Sege:  (laughing mockingly). Go, uncle, go, uncle! Yeah!

Bayo: (touches Sege on his shoulders). Yes, good boy. I will stop that criminal today, to save you and your mother the heart ache you have been undergoing! You are free!

— the murder house —

Sege: Go uncle!

Funmi: You have to be careful, Bayo. So, you do not get killed.

Bayo: (stretches his hand and holds Mrs Funmi passionately). I would not be killed, love. Even if I am, I would be glad to die for you.

Funmi: (smiles widely).

Light Fades

— the murder house —

Location 4

EXT- NIGHT – Outside the House

The night is dark. The light bulb from the house casts faint light on Bayo as he squats at a point behind one of the pillars of the house overlooking the entire compound. It is a little bit cold and he is breathing heavily. His face shows scare as he awaits the coming of the criminal.

Bayo: This could be the way for me to get into the heart of Funmi and that her son whom I did not even remember she had,. Getting this criminal would be the present I would be giving to myself for a long while. It will break open many opportunities for me. Someone like Femi would considered this present the best present I had ever given myself until this time. There were times Femi would walk close to me where kids walked on their way to school or play a game. He would laugh at me around the shops, hoping money would come from somewhere from me, or that a hand would reach out to him and sow wealth into his life so that he could trade the secrets of winning the love of Funmi. I understood the scope he used and did not fall for it. He had no special link to Funmi, meanwhile he lied that he did. Sometimes, Femi wished he could enter any shop along the busy street with any amount of money I hand over to him on the pretext of him knowing much about Funmi when he knows little or nothing about her. Such pathetic liar …

A sound of something falling in the dark is heard. Bayo perches closer to the wall and stands upright, ready for action.

Bayo:  I think the man is here. It is time for showdown. (He strains his eyes to see, but he sees nothing clearly and hears no sound). May be it is something that fell like that and not linked to the criminal, but I still have to be ready in case he is about to strike. Thank goodness I never believed that Femi, though, and then I was stuck for what seemed like forever, lurking around him, and putting all of my hope and desire in him, confiding in him. This lady, who I imagined, would cause so much troubles to win over in their life and in love that her tongues were devoid of liquid, and were instead like fire.

A sound of someone jogging and making heavy steps on the ground is heard. Bayo’s heart increases in the number of heartbeats a minutes. He stands on his toes and look. He could see the silhouette of a man who looked to be around 6’3 and very huge in body. The man was jogging along with what looked like a machete and a dagger. He took a deep breath and got out to chase the man.

Criminal: (laughs suddenly and speaks loudly, still jogging). I can hear your footsteps. It is like I have a companion today. You have been sent to deal with me, right? Did you ask about me before coming on this. I am fire. I am thunder! I am war! Awwwoooo! (Increases pace of running).

Bayo:  (increases pace of running). I am not scared of you, common criminal like you, I have dealt with people like you, and it is not a big deal. You would see how it goes down.

— the murder house —

The camera follows their running silhouette around the house and the space around the house for two minutes. Mrs Funmi and her child watches from their rooms through the windows. The camera flashes on them a bit. Bayo increases his pace again and begins to catch up with the criminal. He gets closer to the criminal and pushes him down and lands on him. They fall and roll together. After rolling, they come to the section of the house where the light is the brightest.

Criminal: (gets on top of Bayo on the ground and laughs crazily). Gbosa! (He lands the first blow on Bayo’s face). I will kill you like others. Waste your life. You are nothing to me. (Gives him another blow).

Bayo: (regains himself and pushes him away from his body slightly). Today will be the end of you! (Gives the criminal a blow on the belly. The criminal is still reeling from the pain when he gives him another one on the face).

Criminal: (yells). Bastard! Idiot! (He distances himself from Bayo and stands). You think you are good, all right? Let us have a proper fist fight and see who goes down. Fight to death right now.

Bayo:  (gets up). I do not talk too much. I fight.

They make fists with each of their right arm and get closer to fight. The next minute, they are very close to each other and blowing at one another. They miss each other twice by constantly dodging. It is Bayo whose hand lands on the criminal’s face again and he supports the blow immediately with a blow on the belly.

Criminal: Bastard! (Spits out blood).

The Criminal staggers a little before he regains himself. They come close again and begin throwing blows and dodging. Bayo is caught off guard and receives a blow on the face, and as he staggers, he receives a kick on the stomach and then a knee to the face. He falls.

Criminal: Common, get up! Bastard!

Bayo gets up and they move in to fight again. They make fist to begin fight again. By this time, they are both staggering and their blows weightless. They also aim their blows far away from their bodies that it does not reach. The blows are weak and miss where they are supposed to land.

Bayo:  (speaking weakly). I told you that I would deal with you. (Reaches for something in his shorts).

Criminal: I will still deal with you, you don’t know who you are joking with. I am fire! I am war! No one sees me and goes scot-free! I would rather wound the person to date, get that? (Throws a strong blow at Bayo, Bayo dodges it).

Bayo: (bends down as if he is about to pick something from the ground, gets a knife and stabs the criminal on the leg).

Criminal: (screams in pain). Yeeeeeee!

The Criminal acts fast that no one sees it coming, he pulls the knife out, blows Bayo on the cheek and plunges the knife in his stomach. Bayo falls without a scream.

— the murder house —

Criminal: Bastard! You cheated in the fight! We said no knife. Ouch. My leg. I have fought so many times with knife that I don’t know how it feels anymore. You will die here in your own cold blood. (Coughs. He moves closer to Bayo’s body that is looking lifeless and spits on him. He begins to limp away in pain).

Funmi and Sege continue to watch from their windows as the criminal goes at the back of the house and comes back with a bleating goat on his shoulder. He limps and walks slowly. The criminal goes to where Bayo lies and spits on him again before he leaves. Immediately he leaves, Mrs Funmi runs downstairs, opens the door and goes to Bayo.

Funmi: (shakes him on the ground). Bayo, are you okay? Please, talk to me! Are you okay? Please respond. (Pauses and leans on his chest to check for heartbeat). I can hear something, but he is certainly at that point of death. (Crying). Please, don’t die on me, Bayo. You are brave, I love you, don’t die on me. Sege! Get me my phone, right now! (Shakes Bayo again). Please do not die on me.

Light Fades

— the murder house —

Location 5

EXT – DAY – Outside the House

A MONTH LATER flashes on the screen.

The camera comes upon the family of Funmi dressed for church and talking to each other outside their house. Bayo is with them. They are close to each other in their Sunday dresses and are about to leave.

Funmi: (stretches hand and holds Bayo). How are you feeling today? How is the sit of the operation doing now after they took out the stitches?

Bayo:  Fine.

Funmi: Thanks to you, this is the longest time the thief have stayed without attacking. I think he is dead or mortally wounded. (Kisses him on the cheek). We cannot appreciate you enough on what you have done for us. It is not a small thing. We love you.

— the murder house —

Bayo:  (smiles). You do?

Funmi:  Yes. (Turns to Sege). We do, right?

Sege:  (nods). Yes.

Funmi: Being the ascension of our Saviour, there will be a special meeting in church and a short one. We would be safely inside our home before the sun hits the middle of the sky.

Bayo:  Yes. We would safely be inside the house before the sun hits the middle of the sky. Time would not be wasted like that.

Funmi: (takes a deep breath). I don’t know why I keep having this feeling that criminal would show up today. This is Lucifer’s planet, his dwelling place, as stated in the Gospel of Matthew during the Lord’s temptation. His confederates lurk in the dark places but have no foothold into righteousness. So, let us carry righteousness as a light to guide us into this night. Let God’s light guide us unto good deeds toward one another. Let us carry that righteousness and light into the darkness like a gleaming torch. If we have this light and righteousness, we will defeat the darkness of that criminal.

Bayo:  May God protect us all at night before the moon is full and bright. Since you say he will come and you always get it right that he would come, then he would come. We have to prepare for it. I will get ready.

Sege:  I do not want you to die, uncle! (Makes a soft crying sound).

Bayo: I will not. I will deal with the criminal once and for all. He is not going to be troubling anyone any more around here.

— the murder house —

Light Fades

Location 6

EXT – NIGHT – Outside the House

— the murder house —

The night is not dark in a great way, because the moon is full in the sky and shining its light to all the area. The camera comes on Bayo standing behind a pillar. It is a different pillar from the one he stood behind the last time. He stand there with a stick and a short knife waiting. Two minutes later, the hefty criminal comes in, dragging one of his feet. His wound from the last time had not healed and it did not look like he got medical attention. The man moves into a corner that is darker and a sound is heard.

Bayo:  What is that? What is that sound? I can see a low form shape of something slowly walk through space at the edge of the house, not toward the house. Is that him? Who knows if Funmi checked the light switch, making sure the lights would come on when I need it to be turned on. (He stepped out into foot deep, cold, ground and reached back inside for his wood and knife. He had them ready, prepared, ready to use. He had them checked earlier. He cradled his left arm over the top of the pillar and pulled the wood into his right shoulder, walking towards the destination of the intruder). I pray for success today in stopping this thief. He does not want to quit at all.

Bayo walked in the open and the light was turned on, it reflected back into his eyes from high place it was. He shut and opened his eyes. His eyes quickly readjusted. There. He could see him. He stood seventy yards out, waiting, and looking around, limping. Bayo cradled his left arm and stopped momentarily, dropping the wood and balancing it on the wall. Bayo could see the criminal’s red eyes as they stared back at him and the criminal sight stood on his limping legs.  The man looked more huge to Bayo than the last time he had seen him.

Criminal: (a little bit shielded in the dark). You again! I can smell your disgusting failure of a fight from here. I did not know you would survive. Pathetic loser!

Bayo:  You can curse me for all I care, but we are settling this issue tonight, and you are stopping here. You would not ever come here any more. You would remain where you come from and never come here. You understand?

Criminal: Idiot! I will deal with you and your heart will thump continuously inside your chest. Stabbing pain shall grip your stomach and paralyse your spine.  You will wipe sweat from your brow and pull yourself tight, forcing calm. It shall be easy for me. I will aim at your centre power and deal with you. You shall take a deep breath and let it flow out slowly as I deal with you,  and you shall fight and get nothing. You shall fight and squeeze harder, still nothing.  Idiot!

Bayo: You remember I do not talk too much. I fight. (Gets closer to him and brings out his short knife). Let get down to it, right now!

Criminal: (reveals himself from the dark and he has a long metal chain and a dagger). I came prepared …

Bayo:  Jesus! (His exclamatory whisper pushed vapour through his suddenly cold lips).

Criminal: Are you surprised? I did not want to be taken unaware again. I underrated you before, and I would not let that happen again. A gangster claiming pastor and religious man with innocent face … Never again. (Laughs) It is the end now. Take it …! (He lashes the chain at Bayo, Bayo made to dodge it, but he is not fast enough, it tears his skin on his arm, draws blood and his knife drops on the ground).

Bayo: (screams). Jesus!

— the murder house —

The criminal raises the metal chain again, and he is about to strike again when Bayo runs away. The criminal pursues with his limping legs. They run around for two minutes, slowly. Bayo still has pain in his belly and holds his stomach as he runs and his slashed arm. The criminal limps-run. At the end of two minutes, the criminal gets a little bit closer to Bayo and lashes the chain at Bayo’s legs, tearing it open and spilling blood. Bayo falls and rolls on the ground screaming.

Criminal: (Laughs). I told you I was very ready for you today. Didn’t I? No underrating. (Pursues Bayo).

Bayo: (makes to stand, he falls, coughs and stays still).

The criminal get closer and lashes the chain again, targeting Bayo’s head. Bayo shifts and the chain barely scratches his face. He yells. The criminal is about to strike another one when Bayo grabs some sand and pour on his face. The criminal shuts his eyes and Bayo crawls closer very faster and kicks him on his testes. The criminal yells, dropping his weapons to hold them.

— the murder house —

Bayo stands and limps away while the criminals is still holding his testes, whining in pain. Bayo runs to get the wood he had kept somewhere. He carried it and limped fast to meet the criminal still in pain. He went to him from behind him.

Bayo: (whistles). Hey look! (The criminal looks and Bayo strikes him on the head with the wood. The criminal falls, fainting in the process). Funmi! Fast, get those ropes and chains before he wakes up!

Funmi: (shouts from within the house). Alleluia! It is over! I am bringing them right now!

Light Fades.

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