THE APPLE AND THE TREE
There’s an argument as old as psychology: “Which is responsible for the man, Nature or Nurture?”
Many wise men, over the years, have tried to answer the question; some cried nature, others are sure nurture is to blame. Never mind how well orchestrated any side’s argument may seem, the opposition will never accept the other’s claims. Both sides always have good arguments, no doubts, but then one can only expect as much when a bunch of old cronies, clad in really tight suits and dyed wigs, sit together in closed spaces filled to bursting with testosterone and hubris. Nothing ever gets done except the bruising of egos and the drawing of enemy lines.
‘Nature or Nurture?’ That was all Mrs. Quinn could think about.
Olusola Quinn, a 46 year-old lady who looked seven years older than she should, sat in her cell, hair cut short for easy maintenance. Her spent white shirt and orange jumpers were dirty, as were the sheets on her lice ridden mattress. She did not mind, she had gotten inundated to the sight of the annoying little bugs scurrying all over her bed and flesh and the smell of clothes in need of wash, she was equally unfazed by the worsening condition of her ear infection and her super-stinky athlete’s foot. Seven years in prison would do that to you.
“Lights out in ten!!!”, called Officer Kendrick. Her coarse baritone eclipsed the chatter of the inmates; the repeated clanging of her baton on the bars, not six compartments from Sola’s cell, reinforced the Officer’s orders.
Her bed was littered with browned newspaper clippings, sketches of different faces and several wrinkled letters. Sola picked a letter and judging from minimal amount of creases on it, it was fairly recent. She reached for the rough sketch that accompanied the letter; she could not stop herself from sighing. She wondered when she would see his face in the missing columns.
* * *
The skies were pregnant with thunder clouds and the air heavy with moisture. It had rained almost non-stop for a week and the weather forecast bore little good news. The first weeks of the warm seasons in Ontario, Canada brought very little warmth to the city, but then comparing to the freeze of winter, the cold rains were a welcome reprieve.
As the grey skies of day turned dark with nightfall, the inhabitants of the city, clad in warm clothes and water-proof jackets, moved briskly in the face of the threatening rain. Funmi, on the other hand, seemed to be enjoying the weather. She had a shopping bag in one hand and an umbrella in the other, humming a tune to herself as she walked at a leisurely pace. While to onlookers, she seemed to be having a good time in the wet weather, she was simply trying to savor these final moments before she had to get to work.
‘The rain is good’, she thought to herself, ‘nothing like the tears of spring to wash away the deeds of the sinner’.
Her apartment, a converted warehouse which was at least a mile away from her closest neighbor, was divided into living and working space and there was the basement. She had a hot soak, prepared herself a hot meal of chicken soup and a glass of wine. She was a ball of nervous energy, but experience had steeled her nerves… somewhat. She knew not to rush her work. Great work takes skill, hard work and patience. She had no intention of ruining her work by rushing down to her basement all nervous-like and then make a mistake she could live to regret.
After her third glass of wine, she was ready. She stood before a full length mirror as she slowly and sensually dressed herself, first, a pair of matching white lingerie which was lined with black lace, and fairly bright, ox-blood wrap-round gown that did wonders for her caramel skin and extolled her curves. She twirled before the mirror, she was a Yoruba-Canadian and her – just above moderate – breasts and her generous hips and derriere were testament to her African descent. Her father left her precious little. Save for the money and property he left bequeathed to her in his will, her unnatural brown eyes and her shoulder length brown hair, nothing else about her suggested that she might be of Caucasian blood.
She sat at her vanity, beautified her otherwise plain faces and picked her bag of work tools and slipped her feet into pair of comfortable 3” wedges. One last glance at the mirror and she descended into the basement.
In the large space that was filled with darkness and cool dry air, Funmi could easily make out the muffled sobs of her guest. She turned on the naked colored bulbs that barely illuminated the darkness and set a table before the sobbing man. The man hung from chains attached to the ceiling of the concrete roofed basement such that his feet barely touched the ground, forcing him to balance precariously from his toes; his mouth was gagged by a perforated red ball that made the poor man drool uncontrollably and his eyes were also blindfolded. He had a rich head of salt and pepper hair that was matted in sweat and blood and his chest hairs were coated in sweat and a slimy fluid that was most likely drool.
“I hope you like your chicken soup with curry and mushrooms?”, she asked in a voice dripping with over-the-top sweetness as she took of the blindfold and gag.
She had left him hanging from the ceiling for nearly three nights now with naught but a glass of water and a hose down to keep him alive. No sane human would turn down a bowl of soup after going so long without food.
‘Men are pathetic’, Funmi thought as she hosed him down. She made quick work of his clean up and feeding. She hosed him down one more time before patting him dry with a towel.
The man tried pleading with his captor as soon as she finished drying his hair and was greeted with a mostly odorless gas that tasted faintly like almonds. Odorless as it was, it nearly made him choke as he gasped for breath. While he choked, he could not help but wonder why he felt hot in the stomach, or the inexplicable rush of restless energy that spread from his chest to the rest of his body. He was most worried, however, by the sudden – albeit unprovoked – rush of blood to his nether regions that resulted in the swift rise of his manhood. An art long lost to him and men of a certain age without the help of the little blue pills.
‘What did she do to me?’ He wondered.
She smiled at her ingenuity. The PT-141 was a close guarded secret that the FDA hid deep down in its archives. The long list of warnings that came with the experimental drug made very little sense to her although she easily appreciated its uses. The little aerosol was worth the fortnight she spent before a computer screen diligently chipping away at the FDA firewall and the time and resources it took to blackmail the right officials to bring her a case of the drug. Merely looking at the man in his late 60’s, thrusting his throbbing member in the air in search of a moist receptacle, was a joy to watch.
Hell, with what little exposure she had to the drug, her panties were already damp with the excesses of her wantonness, not that she needed encouragement to begin with.
Exerting a fierce control on her body’s desires, she walked to one of the many drawers that lined the walls of her little dungeon and pulled out a bullwhip that was almost seven feet long and ended in a series of knots, a pair of gloves and a set of brass knuckles.
“Let us begin, shall we?” she flicked the whip and pulled it back expertly, bending over backwards to compensate for the lack of strength in her five feet-seven inch frame; Funmi flogged her whip at her target, smiling as the knotted end zipped past her ear on its way to her captive’s back.
The knotted whip did its job well, rending supple flesh as kissed its target’s back with all the tenderness of a butcher’s knife. Funmi’s eye held a deadly glow as she watched a shower of red fluid spray from his back and a smile of satisfaction crept onto her face at the shrill scream that escaped her guest’s lips.
The smile was a vile slice glee that had little trace of humanity; mocking and selfish; evil and unapologetic, she reveled in his pain. She flicked her weapon and pulled it back again, this time, she aimed for lousy covering of flesh that covered his spine.
Funmi closed her eyes and savored the taste of his fear. If her panties were wet before, they were drenched now. She could barely contain her excitement, but she would have to, she had only just begun.
* * *
Sola listened to the pitter-patter of the rain through the bars on her window. She had always loved the rain. She closed her eyes, thinking back to that night, seven years ago; the night it all began. She had knelt in the rain, a bloodied knife in one hand as she held her wailing daughter in the other.
“Shush dear! It’s alright”, she cooed as she consoled the crying teen. “It’s alright”.
In the distance, she could hear the sound of police sirens and she knew her time with her daughter was up. She kissed the crying girl on the head.
“It’s alright Funmi, the rain is good”, the police cars were screeching to a halt behind her. “Nothing like the tears of spring to wash away the deeds of the sinner… You will be fine”.
She was cuffed rather quickly, not that it mattered. Her daughter would be safe and that was all that mattered to her.
To be continued…