THE BUTCHER OF SODOM AND GOMORRAH

We called his room Slaughter House. We called the lodge Sodom and Gomorrah Lodge. If you know Anambra State University, Igbariam Campus beyond the school gate then you might have known Achala village and might have passed by (if not actually visited) Sodom and Gomorrah Lodge. No, not as Sodom and Gomorrah, you probably know it with its real name. Sodom and Gomorrah was the code name given to our lodge by the lodge and used only in the lodge. The lodge was a pompous storey building with about three dozens of rooms occupied by more than two scores of students, students because they had their records in some dusty half-forgotten departmental file but really fun-catching maniacs with some of the wildest experiments in sex, alcohol, drugs and cooperative immorality.

Sodom and Gomorrah Lodge is not the subject of my story. No, Kamso and the Slaughter House ran is. I stayed in Sodom and Gomorrah Lodge in my year one, Kamso was in his third year and had been running his abattoir for three years. A fat kid of twenty two years whom we called BIG behind his back or before his drunken presence, nothing gave him satisfaction more than taking a girl into his room and slaughtering her. He never made love or had sex with them, he butchered them. Four times a week, sometimes every day of the week.

He used his belt, his giant fists, kicks, everything to subdue them. “Open, my friend,” he would shout. Whip! “Open, come on open your legs.” Slap. “Idiot.” Kick. The girl would cry, whimper, beg but Kamso never listened, words like “I am a virgin” and “I am on my period” would have had more effect on a rotten corpse. In a few occasions the victim would shout and call on the neighbours for help but no one ever bothered. Both male and female lodgemates would go about their business as though the screams came from Awka. Some would switch on their generators and play music to drown the voice. When Kamso had a girl in his room he wouldn’t stop hurting her until she gave in to his animal desire.

“Why don’t the girls ever report him?” I asked my elder brother whom I was staying with.

“To whom?” he returned. “The question they would ask the girl is, what took you to his room? Again, the girls are ashamed. No girl wants to announce to the whole world that someone entered her.”

I was an upcoming bad boy still struggling to smoke weed with a straight face and survive three shots of Castello, but the routine rape of girls by Kamso horrified me. I however kept my horror to myself because guys hailed Kamso.

“Does it mean no girl can stand up to him?” I asked my brother.

“Who, that pig? They can’t endure him. But he will see thunder if he mistakenly carries a cult boy’s girlfriend. But the idiot is very careful.”

I hissed.

“Forget that thing,” my brother said, “In fact I want to learn BIG’s style, girls have done me shege.”

Usually when the girl came out from Kamso’s room, limping plus a black eye or broken jaw, depending on how hard and far she resisted, guys would crowd into Kamso’s room and shout his praise. He would mostly be seen fanning his sweating hide with the girl’s panties. Yes, he usually seized their panties. He said they were the reward for his sperm, and he had a travelling bag full of panties. Kamso was a legend.

I forced myself to begin to admire him in order not to be termed “learner”. I tried to justify this primitive acts with the reasoning that any female who came to Kamso’s room knew what she was playing with. But it was hard to suppress the fact that some of these girls actually came to borrow a texbbook or watch some interesting Korean movie, or came with the thought of visiting a human being who came in the guise of “just friends”.

One week to my second semester exams it happened. BIG Kamso brought the last girl to the Slaughter House. I was leaning on the balcony when they came down from the motorcycles that brought them. The girl wasn’t more than eighteen and she looked sickly, so much that I felt she was more in need of her mother’s close watch than the empowerment of the university. Now she would be slaughtered, given a scaring baptism of campus. Or, perhaps, she would quietly open her legs and sorrounder her dignity, and underwear afterwards, and save her skin. Poor girl.

Five minutes or so later, I had even forgotten all about the ill-matching couple, an animal scream tore into the lodge. The voice was unusually deep, like a man’s voice. I decided to enter my room and block my ears with earphones. I crashed into my brother at the door. I expected a biting reprimand but he grinned at me. “Did you hear the shout? It’s BIG’s voice.”

“It’s a lie.” I couldn’t believe this. We ran to his door and listened. We heard the gasps and kicks of struggling bodies, then “Uwaihoo! Uwaihooo! Uwaihoooo!!”

“It’s him,” my brother and I exclaimed. Doors began to open and lodgemates rushed out.

“Is that not BIG shouting?” Obinna asked. I nodded. “Mehn we have to save our guy o.” He advanced to the door.

“What is the idea?” My brother blocked his way.

“Give way, we have to save our guy man.”

“Have you ever saved a girl in the Slaughter House before?” Jane asked him.

“He’s my guy!”

“To hell with him,” said Nancy.

“Whoooohh! whooooooh!!”

Obinna forcefully made for the door but my brother pushed him away. They stood, sizing each other, hating. My brother had spent a great deal of time with Obinna lifting weights downstairs and he looked ready to match Obinna muscle for muscle. My presence further served to make Obinna rule out physical combat. Kamso continued to shout. We waited. The girls, one or two had been BIG’s victims, giggled excitedly. It was Christmas in July.

Kamso’s door finally opened and the little girl came out, unruffled. She smiled brightly at us. “He raped my sister,” she announced, shrugged then winked. “Karma. You need a tank of water.”

We stood, rooted to the ground long after she was gone, afraid to check on our neighbour, afraid to confirm the worst. It was Obinna who summoned enough courage to open the door a crack; my brother pushed it. They entered, I followed. A look at Kamso’s bed brought a rush of nauseous waves to my body, which got me so sick l had to hold my brother’s back for balance. What I saw that day, of Kamso’s body, is unprintable.

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