An excerpt from The Last Heir, the first volume of the HOUSEHOLD series.
The night was not the warmest one. A few stars peeked down on the world and a quarter moon played hide and seek behind the scattering clouds. Cain Martins was hungry; he hadn’t eaten any food today, not like he always had much to eat before–– he was always hungry. Even before his starvations, Cain had always had a big appetite. Often he was ravenous; at times his hunger seemed almost insatiable. He’d just been released from the hospital and he was a man without a job. Cain Martins was a nobody––he had no one, no family; the mother he’d grown to know and not love had died eight years ago. He didn’t even know his own father. Cain Martins was virtually homeless.
His wristwatch, the only property he had, revealed it was a couple of minutes past nine. The heavy rain that had come and gone earlier had left the night’s temperature almost freezing. Cain dipped his hands in his trousers pocket, aware that there was no coin on him. That impossible feeling of sorcery where a couple of coins might miraculously fill his pockets occurred to him but it was a time and world where magic refused to operate. The hunger persisted.
He continued walking down the dark street; stopped for a short moment to urinate in a gutter nearby. The street was already becoming quiet; the street crowds were already vacating the bars and brothels to their various homes. Two men walked out of one of the buildings struggling with the zippers of their trousers; on the second floor of another building, a woman opened a window and shouted down, berating her husband about the projected hour of his return. Other night owls could be seen drinking from gin bottles. In the last house, a lone whore leaned out from a first floor window, saw Cain and opened her blouse, displaying a large sagging breast that looked like a funnel. She squeezed it several times and pointed the nipple at him. Cain turned away from the view; he knew she was not for him. The street was the end of a particular section of the cities of Lagos.
Cain Martins was a twenty-seven year old man of average height with bushy black hair, dressed casually in a white shirt and black trousers, with a pair of brown sandals on his legs–everything he’d stolen, except of course, his wristwatch which his mother had bought for him about a decade ago when he was in the high school, the watch itself had stopped about a century ago. He was quite ugly, his lean hard face and hooked nose with thin lips gave him the look of a hawk. His face in particular was distended and carried a scowl that would make his face to a child look like a boogeyman’s. When he was a kid, he’d contacted a skin disease that stripped off his hair. He’d been as bald as an egg ever since. He had no girlfriend––not even when he was in the high school. No girl wanted to date ugliest boy in the school. Coupled with his bad looks, Cain Martins was arrogant and cruel. During his final year in the school, he’d brutally abused a fourteen-year-old girl sexually. He’d walked straight to the young girl and asked her to kiss him. The girl had felt surprise and embarrassment that she saw the confrontation as a bad joke and walked out on him. Cain became infuriated by the girl’s action.
It was about a week later when the girl was returning home from school that Cain attacked her. He crept behind her and hit her with a stick on the back of the head, the girl collapsed face-down. He dragged her to the bush at the side of the quiet road and turned her on the back. He gave her some few blows on the side of her face to render her weak before he roughly entered her. The enormity of the deed and the psychological trauma compelled the poor girl to withdraw from the school. But Cain Martins was never convicted of the crime.
For his plan to be successful, a cold night and a quiet street was what Cain Martins wanted. He stood under the shadow of an electric pole waiting for someone he could attack and rob. In his left hand was a thick iron rod. Hunger birthing anger in his stomach; crime is the only thing on his mind…
Larry Sun, an aspiring writer, was born in Lagos, Nigeria. The Last Heir is the first volume of the HOUSEHOLD series; his soon to be published first novel. He lives in Lagos and can be contacted through this email: [email protected].