My feet shook and my father clutched my palms tighter. I stared at him, sweat dripping off my brow as we sat down in separate chairs at the centre of a tiny room which felt like a place hell had deserted. The door creaked open and the prison warden wheeled in an old frail man in a wheelchair with uneven patches of dark skin and liver spots. His hands were cuffed and even though this would be his last day on the planet, he maintained a smirk that could only be that of a man who had escaped death more than once. His name was Marcus Luther Odiero, my grandfather, my father’s father. My father had gone to extreme measures to ensure that no one mentioned his name in the house. He had abandoned his surname, immediately shut down any topic that mentioned his father and if you poked the beast further, he’d give you a bear slap unlike any other.
“Did you bring my cigars?” He begun
“No.” My father replied, unremorseful, unperturbed, almost like the devil’s young.
“Then what are you doing here if you did not bring my cigars?” He asked sarcastic.
“I brought you your grandson.” My father remarked
“Great! Another person to feel sorry for me or have you taught him how to pretend to ‘love’ me? You were always good with that.” He burst in a fit of anger as I lowered my head in fear and shame, I was only seven at the time.
“It’s your last day; being nicer to the only family you have left won’t kill you.” My dad barked. I could see the veins forming around his neck.
“Family? That’s a load of bullshit to me… Where were you when I was being convicted? The hangman still has my neck at the end of the day so stop acting like you care.”
“We were hiding away in fear because you were a serial killer. You even threatened to kill us. You used to beat mom like she was another of your victims to you so don’t sit in your ivory towers and pretend that you are the victim here!” My father said rising up.
At this point, the guards rushed to the table.
“What can I say, a made a deal with the devil, I’ll be waiting for you in hell to pay for all your sins, and It will be a looooong time.”
The guards rushed him out as my father stomped his fist on the table. You could tell that he was furious.
“Let’s go son. Coming here was a mistake in the first place.” He finally said composing himself.
I didn’t want to annoy him but the words just came out. Sometimes, I really don’t want to speak but there’s a voice inside my head that almost always finds a way to open my mouth.
“Dad, won’t we be staying for the trial?”I avoided the word hanging at all costs.
“Your grandfather can die for all I care. He deserves it. If you want to stay with these criminals then you can but you’ll have to find your own way home.” He shut me down.
I bowed my face in shame as we walked out of the prison gates. At that moment, I realized how terrible my life had become. I had a grandfather who didn’t care whether or not I existed, a father who couldn’t explain what was happening concisely without bursting into a fit of rage and the neighbour’s kids feared me, saying that I was cursed and that I could murder them. I found reprieve in schoolwork but as I jumped classes and grew smarter, the teasing grew even worse. I couldn’t take it anymore.
My father had just jump-started the car when a man in a brown two piece suit came dashing towards our direction waving an envelope. I noticed his face. He was the lawyer my dad kept chasing out of the house.
“I told you I don’t want anything belonging to that man!” My father began.
“I know that’s why I think you should have a look at this. Your father left it for you and the law requires me to give it to you. Even if you chase me, I’ll keep coming to your house…”
“OK!” My father interrupted then threw the brown envelope on the dashboard.
I became keenly interested in the contents and found myself peeking at the envelope. When my curiosity grew even worse, I found myself opening it and delving into its contents. My father stared at me but allowed me to peek into the contents.
There was a letter, a tape recorder and over twenty pictures of men and women dressed in what you could only describe as black priestly gowns with red satchels, some in black masks, others in the clear, laughing or smiling. There was one picture of a burning brick building with pentagon and other weird symbols.
“Dear Son,” The letter began.
“Over the course of my life I have killed 16 people. Now that I think of it, I really am a serial killer! I take no offense in the fact that you called the police in on me when you found one of my “equipment’s” dosed in blood. In fact it only made me prouder.
Sending you this letter means that I am gone and by being gone means you deserve an explanation. Before I met your mom, I was a drunk messed up adult with a nose for trouble. I became a cocaine addict and made a few friends in the wrong places. My friend Tobias introduced me to a cult that called itself The Clan’s Templar.
After my initiation, it was only necessary I perform what was required of me. For the first time in my life, I found meaning. I was trained and slowly I rose through the ranks, got to perform some dirty jobs for the clan like extortion and kidnap until I could bang heads with the big dogs.
I met your mom on a rainy day. I was at the bar celebrating my newly earned cash which Jonte, an influential member of the clan had paid me having threatened the life of a few of his competitors when she walked in and at that moment, I knew not only what I wanted but who I wanted to share it with.
At first she was resistant, she hated me with spite and then one lie led to another and she found herself lying in my bed. A few months later, I noticed members of the clan growing distant from me. You see in the clan you can have sex with whoever you like, they even threw orgies but one was not allowed to be in a relationship. They claimed that it made you weak and that you’d break.
After you were born, I had to settle in with your mother. One night while you were still young, The Clan ordered a hit on me and my wife. The plan was to kill us and raise you as their own for whatever they please. I noticed what was going on and gunfire was exchanged. That night, I got hit in the belly three times and your mom almost died while in my arms.
I didn’t manage to kill any of them and the police couldn’t make head or tails of the matter but after I recovered I knew I had to do something or else I’d never live with myself. So I began taking them out one by one, designing ingenious ways to kill them each time from poisoning them and making their brakes fail to chopping their hands. I know it sounds dreadful but it was necessary at the moment.
Someone must have alerted the Clan that I could have been the culprit because after I declared that I wanted to leave, no one dared followed me to the city where we relocated. Days morphed into Years and life became a series of constant pressures and hustles I couldn’t cope with. I found work at a tiny battery factory however and I tried to do everything I could to raise you up to be a better man.
The night you found my weapon, I had murdered six members of The Clan. I had intel that they were regrouping and that they were planning to strike. You know what happened afterwards, by then you were old enough. I know what your thinking, even if I claim I did it for you, I was still a bad dad. I don’t deny you the right of holding such an opinion. Everytime I beat your mom, it wasn’t because I wanted to, it was because I was angry with myself and I wanted her to run away with you so that you could let me pay for my sins alone but eons passed and she remained standing, believing in me.
I know you’re better off now that am gone. I’m proud of you and my grandson. I hear he’s a genius with the numbers and that he’s going to the Olympiad next year. I might not show it but deep down inside I know he’ll feel it. Tell him I love him for me and that I wish life were different and I’d be there to tell him stories. Never stop until you make him a better man than you are. I leave you nothing, but these words.”