� Aaron Ansah-Agyeman
THE CENTRAL POLICE STATION – MORNING
The main yard of the Central Police Station is crawling with the press and curious people.
The previous evening’s episode of Elaine�s popular GIRL VIBZ talk show which featured Mr. Chris Bawa as “The Beast” has made the press get up early to storm the police station.
From radio, television and print, the media has besieged the police station.
They want to know what is going to happen to the man who has been arrested again just a couple of days after his release from prison.
They mount their equipment.
Cameras and microphones are brandished everywhere.
Some of them are carrying the story live on their various networks.
Mr. Allan Davidson, the big-headed Central Police Station Commander, emerges from the confines of the police station and approaches the group of press personnel.
There is a rush for notebooks, dictators, recorders, cameras and microphones.
The big man stops and surveys the hungry group with a cold eye.
Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen. I will be very brief. Yesterday evening Miss Baaba Brooks, a prison’s service personnel, had a very unpleasant accident and accused Mr. Chris Bawa of trying to rape her. She also accused him assaulting her. Last night she changed her story. She confirmed that she might have been temporarily unstable due to the traumatic experience she went through. She has therefore retracted her charges and has admitted that Mr. Chris Bawa didn’t harm her. In fact, he saved her life by rushing her to hospital.
A barrage of questions is aimed at him, and he raises both hands and gestures to them to keep calm.
He refuses to speak until they gradually calm down. He points to a female journalist.
(in a rush)
So, in other words, Miss Brooks’ allegations against The Beast are false?
I’m yet to come across anybody involved in this incident named The Beast, Ma’am.
Sorry, but after last night�s programme on television, that’s how everybody now refers to Mr. Bawa. I’m very sorry. So you’re saying Mr. Bawa is free to go?
Since the victim has admitted that Mr. Chris Bawa did no wrong, it would be against the law to hold him, so yes, he’s been released.
A portly male journalist holds up his hand, and the Commander points to him.
Could it be that Mr. Bawa indeed assaulted this young lady in his attempts to rape her, but she’s now scared of going to court and going through all the ordeal of re-living the whole incident? Under that circumstance, she might feel obliged to let the case go, thereby letting a dangerous man loose on our streets.
If that were the case I don’t think the victim would have requested that we inform the gentleman involved to come and visit her in the hospital immediately because she is sorry and misses him a lot.
I don’t get it. So how did she get so injured if she wasn’t attacked?
She says she slipped and smashed into the French Windows at her home. Mr. Bawa rushed her to hospital.
A pretty, buxom female journalist speaks up then.
But it doesn’t make sense. According to the report Mr. Chris Bawa had a deep knife wound in his arm, and Miss Brooks was pretty cut up. This ‘slip-and-fell’ story just doesn’t add up, Commander. It seems to me one of them is not telling the truth, and there’s some cover-up somewhere.
We’ll still go ahead and investigate this case, ladies and gentlemen. But, based on Miss Brooks’ retraction, Mr. Chris Bawa is free to go. If our investigations reveal foul play, we�ll go ahead and let the full rigours of the law take place. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have other urgent matters to attend to. Good Morning.
Again, there are staccato machine-gun questions, and he holds up his hands again.
There are groans of disappointment from the press personnel. The Commander turns and leaves them.
They chase him, demanding to speak to Chris, but he brushes them aside and enters the police station.
He sees Chris, who has just signed the Release Form and is heading towards the main entrance.
The Commander quickly approaches Chris.
The Commander also sees that Chief Inspector Danso Cuger has handed the Release Form to Sergeant McBaiden, and now Cuger is approaching Chris.
The Commander stops in front of Chris.
You can’t go out there, Mr. Bawa.
He sees that Chris is fighting to control his fury, and rightly so.
The Commander feels a sudden rush of sympathy flooding his heart for this man who has suddenly become Public Enemy number one.
(in a fierce whisper)
And why is that?
The Police Commander turns, walks to the window, parts the curtains, and gestures to Chris.
Chris joins him at the window and sees the great number of press personnel out there.
Paparazzi, my friend. They’ll crucify you if you go out there. Come, I’ll take you through the back door to the senior officers’ car park where I let your sister-in-law wait for you.
Chris’ eyes narrow.
Who? Eyram is here?
Oh, yes. She came here quite early to bail you, but I informed her Miss Brooks has changed her story and you’re already a free man. I let her wait at the car park. Come with me, Mr. Bawa.
Chris turns to follows the man, and finds his way blocked by a smirking Danso Cuger.
CHIEF INSPECTOR CUGER
Hey, as***ole, how did you like your cell last night? I know you’ll be back, because you’re now The Beast! I’ve got that cage reserved for you, turd.
The Commander sees the intense look of murderous wrath on Chris face, and he cries out a warning.
Cuger sees the murder in Chris’ eyes, and he realizes quite too late that he has gone too far.
He grabs his pistol and pulls it out of its holster but Chris moves with the speed of lightning.
He chops down with the rigid edge of his left hand, right on Cuger’s wrist, and Cuger cries out with pain as a numbing pain spreads through his arm and the gun drops.
Chris grips him around the neck and lifts him clear off the ground. Chris holds Cuger up, squeezing his neck.
Cuger begins to choke for air as his tongue rolls out and his hands beat feebly at Chris’ wrists.
The other policemen present, McBaiden included, grab their guns and batons.
Some point their guns at Chris whilst McBaiden rushes at Chris with his baton raised.
The Police Commander springs into action, coming between Chris’ body and McBaiden.
Put that baton away this instant, Sergeant!
PUT THE F***ING BATON AWAY, SERGEANT!!
McBaiden drops his hand. The police commander turns to the other policemen, and his furious gaze sweeps over them.
Put your guns down, NOW!
He turns to Chris, who is still holding Cuger up, squeezing his neck.
In five seconds if you’re still holding Cuger I’m going to lock you up for assault on an officer of the law, Mr. Bawa, and believe me I’m going to make sure you go to prison for that!
Chris’ eyes looks into the big cop’s eyes, and then he flings Cuger away from him as if the man is a toy.
Cuger crashes to the floor, and he holds his neck and begins to cough miserably.
McBaiden rushes to him to help him.
The Commander looks around him at the stony faces of the other policemen who clearly feel affronted that a civilian has just manhandled one of them so savagely.
Go back to work, all of you! Cuger, McBaiden, report to my office immediately! Come with me, Mr. Bawa.
Chris follows the big man past some sullen-looking cops and through some doors and corridors until the man opens a door that leads to a well-demarcated car park.
Chris sees Eyram immediately.
She is leaning anxiously against her sleek Nissan Rogue. She sees them and comes towards them.
She is wearing an ash skirt suit with a dark inner, and for one terrible moment Chris’ heart aches because she reminds him so much of Effe.
(taking the Commander’s hand)
Thank you very much, sir. Really grateful for your help.
Take him out of here, Ma’am. He just made some more enemies in my station. Be careful, Mr. Bawa, and watch your back. I wish you the best of luck, and sorry for all the inconveniences we’ve made you go through these last couple of days.
He turns without another word and hurries back inside.
Eyram and Chris look at each other.
Her lips tremble, and her eyes go moist. She looks at him, then she looks down.
She raises her face again, and without a word she moves into him, embracing him hard, her arms fierce bands around his waist.
Startled, he puts his arms around her to steady himself.
Behind him the back door opens again, and the Commander comes out again.
Effe and Junior are with him this time.