LIFE OF A PRISONER (5)

                       A DEADLY DEAL
Abayomi’s face is devoid of expression as he stands in front of Josh’s cell. Josh replies him saying “Yes sir!” almost falling off his bed.
“You have someone here to see you!” Abayomi informs him.
Josh gets a grip on himself as he stands upright with a quizzical look on his face.
“who it might be? could Abayomi be up to somethin? something?” he thinks within himself. He however keeps his guard up. 
Abayomi turns around and Josh follows behind him. He halts where the guards are stationed at a small corner close to the large entrance of the prison. A stranger in faded clothes stands with much excitement. 
His eyes widens and his mouth opens up at the sight of Josh causing the prominent scar on his forehead to be even more visible. His name is Gerald, a fellow slave, just like Josh. 
“Josh!” 
“Gerald!” Josh calls out excitedly with a broad smile on his face. He hadn’t expected any one from Phars House to pay him a visit. This is a huge surprise!
The occasion deserves a hug and they seize the opportunity to do so.
“How’s life in Phar’s quarters?” Josh inquires as they settle down hurriedly across the rickety wooden table.
“Terrible! Hell!” says Gerald. He takes a quick glance at the guards facing them and lowers his tone.
“Mrs Phar keeps rejecting each new slave. She says she doesn’t want anyone who has your tendencies. Who is she trying to deceive? I knew she was lying about you but I couldn’t speak out loud. I needed to see you Josh. You’ve been greatly missed!”
Josh nods. His eyes wet with unbidden tears.
“How is life in prison?, how do you feed?” whispers Gerald. 
Josh takes in a deep breath and slowly let’s it out.
“I’m head of prisoners, it’s my duty to see to the welfare of all prisoners” he says, his voice laden with emotions now.
Gerald’s mouth drops open and closes in a bid to curtail his bewilderment.
Their conversation is cut short with the struggle of two new prisoners coming into prison and four guards tugging at their waist.
“We don’t deserve prison! We are not meant for this! We are royalty! We are Palace workers ” They yell.
“Some Royal Prisoners” Abayomi scoffs his face twists with disgust.
Some of the guards burst into laughter at the sarcastic comment.
Gerald’s and Josh’s eyes follow them until a hit on the table startles them.
“You have to go back to your cell now! Your time is up!” Abayomi declares
Gerald stares at him as if to slit his throat. They stand to their feet and wave goodbye.  They are barely done when a loud scream startles them. Abayomi, Josh and all other guards rush over to the scene. Gerald stands in awe.
***
The day meets with Narshon’s end. Narshon lifeless body lies on a stretcher made out of Palm leaves and fronds. Josh and Page standing alongside Abayomi and Abasi watch two prisoners lower him into the shallow pit they dug up.
Page’s eyes are red while Josh blinks rapidly. 
There are lots of stories around his death which have left them bamboozled. 
Page attests to the one that he commited suicide whereas Josh is in doubt. He sees no reason for him to have done so. He and Narshon only get to exchange glances. Some mild and others fierce. He saw in his eyes a strong man not a weakling.
Heading back to prison, both guards armed, Abayomi beckons on Josh in his usual stern voice. He is a guard 5ft tall, always in a serious mood and hardly ever smiles with anyone. A lanky yet hard fellow. 
“You are to return to your cell at once! You are not to discuss Narshon’s death or circumstances surrounding his death with any prisoner! Make sure you take charge of the situation else we would displace you!” Abayomi commands 
“Yes sir” Josh replies in a firm voice and lurches ahead of them to meet with the other prisoners 
“Prisoners are frustrated people. How can you give such an order to him just because he is the Head of Prisoners?!” Abasi asks him when they are alone 
Abayomi stares at him angrily and trots off without saying a word.
Abasi shakes his head and smiles to himself.

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