A Bite Without Teeth || by Chiedu Dieyi

I NEVER KNEW NERVOUSNESS had a taste until that morning I sat on the passenger seat in Virgil's truck. We keenly observed the ceremonious welcoming of President Umar Ali at Downing street, London by UK Prime Minister. 
    Virgil sat on the driver seat, observing too, his cigarette stuck between his lips, calmness adorning his face.
    Intermittent conversation punctured the silence to help me loosen up. But it wasn't working.
    I stared across the street observing the scene. Worries about the success of this mission washed my mind. 
    Now, President Umar alighted from the SUV with his delegates and security details. All was set for the job. Our men already manned their positions, and it was now left to AB to play his own part and reach us in sixty seconds before we move.
    “Nervous right?” Virgil asked, staring at me with a half smile.
    “Not necessarily,” I lied, blowing hot air into my feverish palms. ‘Just concerned.”
    “Come on, once the deed is done, a pandemonium will break  out, and no one will notice as we move through the crowd.”
    I shot him a stare. He's one confident comrade. “I’m actually worried about AB. I just hope he is up to the task.”
    “AB is a trained sniper, Sam. You don’t have to worry about him. So long as he is able to make it down to us in time, the rest is history.”
    Silence settled in again. Our eyes fed on the events once more. Crowds of journalists and welcoming guests flanked the road. President Umar was greeting a couple of more delegates. As a result, there were too many people around him, I was afraid that AB might not have a clear shot.
    A bottle of whisky was in my hand, and as I grabbed it to gulp some content, a sudden outburst of screams rent the air.
    "Shit!" Virgil cursed. I sat up. Looking across, the bubbly gathering out there already turned chaotic, people scampering about, people glued to their positions, eyes raking about. And security operatives quickly springing into action to protect the delegates. 
    Within the chaos, a figure collapsed to the floor, but to my shock, President Umar was still standing, and was soon guided into the building by his security detail. In no time, the entire Downing street was a jigsaw of disarray. 
    “Did AB just miss Umar or was it my eyes playing tricks on me?” I said, catching Virgil’s mystified gaze.
    “I think he missed it!" he muttered, eyes bulging. "This is not good.”
    “What are we going to do?” I asked, making to stand up. My brows twitching hard. “A lot has been staked in this hit. It can't afford to fail.”
    “What do you suggest? You just saw the security escorting the President into the building, obviously unhurt.”
    “Damn!” I punched the glove compartment so hard the documents on it scuttled to the floor. “I thought there was a plan B? We cannot afford to let him get away. The mission was to remove him.”
    “If you have a plan B, I'm listening.”
    I felt a lump in my stomach. For a moment, I thought I had gulped down a bottle of acid. Virgil wasn't making sense to me.
    “If you are not going to do anything, well, I guess I will have to finish it myself.” I said, pulling my 9 millimeter out, sheathing it into my belt, and tried getting the door open.
    “Sam,” Virgil's swift  hands caught mine, as he shot me a stare I'd never forget, “Don’t do anything stupid. Going in there alone would be a suicide mission.”
    “You don’t understand, If Umar is not dead by nightfall, we are finished.” I replied, shoving his hands off.
    “Look at me!” He yelled, and pulled my jackets. I marveled at his amazing strength. “You are not thinking straight right now.” Our eyes locked at each other and his words knitting my brain. “Right inside that building is a death wish waiting to claw you if you make any attempt to get in. The right thing to do is wait for AB to get down here first. Then we can re-strategize.”
    I shoved him off, then buried my face in my palms. He was right, I knew. I was not thinking straight. But I wanted Umar dead. That would have put an end to the nightmare. With this catastrophic failure, it was all over for me. I felt a dark cloud blanket my vision and all I could think of was suicide.
    "Is there something you are not telling me, Sam?" I heard Virgil ask, having observed my sudden depression, "You told me it's just ten million grand." He continued.
    I caught his gaze, but didn't have the nerves to spill the beans.
    "Sam, talk to me!" he yelled, grabbing my shoulders.
    But I couldn't. It was classified.


CHIEDU DIEYI is a rare combination of a writer, an educator and entrepreneur. His passion for writing has led him to publish the novel, Sambisa Crossroads (available in paperback), and a couple of others available on Okadabooks: Room 16 and The Blackmailer; and two fast-paced crime thrillers. 
His major genres are political thrillers, crime fiction, action thrillers and mystery.
If he is not writing, he is reading; and if he is not reading, he is writing.

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