PRESIDENT Jimi Jacobs crumbled down to his knees. Right before the frozen eyes of the entire nation.

He spread out a pair of tightly clenched fists before him, flung his head backwards and exhaled a frustrated gasp of breath.

Just about then, he brought his entire upper frame bowing forwards. And he shook terribly with a long, breathless cry.

He cried. It was like the deafening shriek of a spanked little girl.

The handsome middle aged man raised his gaze again into the hazy skies above; a scalding stream coursing down his reddened eyes.

Jimi pulled out a long, loud groan from his aching throat. And never in history had a President of Kimberland cried that way, in public glare.

It was the 1st of January, 2020.

A presidential airbus – a giant, sleek-bodied transport helicopter, and with a twenty-two-man carriage – swooped towards the huge, vast crematorium.

At the outskirts of Kimberland’s Mountana City.

A host of thousands of citizens lifted their solemn gazes as the President’s aircraft hovered in the far distance.

The standing multitude was clad in black clothes, with each person wearing a sanitary mask over their nose in the lingering overnight haze.

The hilly city of Mountana in the far distance was itself dense with several huge billows of fume. And they were the telltale of the tragedy that hit the entire city two days earlier.

Precisely the 30th of December, 2019. Probably in the early hours before dawn.

Mountana City in the Northern Province had always stood out a tourist pride of Kimberland. The stunningly beautiful city boasted of almost everything Nature.

Talk of four beautiful hills and mountains. Three waterfalls. A small plateau. And a few valleys with winding springs.

Mountana was the greedy kid of Kimberland’s nature endowed cities and districts.

And as such, the ambitious little Eden was home to flourishing travel hotels and resort parks. And these had always fed the Kimberian economy through a working tax policy.

But now, the lively city sadly laid a silent heap of eight hundred thousand cold bodies.

By a cause no one could adequately explain. And for a cause no one could adequately tell.

The presidential helicopter soon landed at a distance.

A swarm of pressmen advanced with a surge towards the direction, with camera shutters clipping on the President’s arrival.

A set of government aides began trooping out of the helicopter, their boots thumping a heavy thud into the ground as they jumped down.

President J. J. stepped down from the helicopter; his eyes sunken and fatigued.

A podium had been erected in front of the crematorium, where he’d give a speech mourning the national tragedy.

He strode towards the podium, with his aides trotting behind and around him.

A personal aide rushed up to him and handed him a sanitary mask, while curtsying with a reverent bow.

Jimi halted and glanced at the sanitary mask in his hand a second. He shook his head and thrust the mask back into the giver’s hand.

The aide was taken aback. Why would the President not want to use the sanitary mask he just handed him?

The presidential aide started at the middle aged man, fearing he was the one at fault. ‘Your Excellency, sir…!’

Jimi raised a hand to still him and signal he was just fine without the mask. The aide only quivered nervously, his fingers fumbling with the piece.

Cameras shutters severally clipped the moment the President refused the safety mask, as the pressmen advanced in a gallop.

The President raised his weary gaze at the advancing pressmen.

He turned his head and took a long look. There at a distance were the coffins of few bodies deliberately brought out of the crematorium to signify the funeral.

He could see vast, endless photos of the victims. Faces of people that were some seventy-two hours ago living residents of the lively city of Mountana.

And a gasp of whimper escaped the president’s quivery lips.

The middle aged man picked himself up in a jiffy and trudged towards the funeral, where the poor souls laid.

Photo Credits: Zoonar/A.ivanov, Age Fotostock

The advancing pressmen turned towards the direction the president trotted and hurried along.

Jimi got to the funeral ground and there they were—the symbol of a whole city of eight hundred thousand souls lying as dead as a cold lump of stone.

He just stood still.

To the pressmen and the gathered nation, the sight of the frozen first citizen was best described as the unconscious freeze after a bullet hit at the heart.

Just before the inevitable collapse that always follows.

Time stopped to count that instant and everybody stood absolutely rooted to the ground.

President Jimi Jacobs crumbled down to his knees. Right before the frozen eyes of the entire nation.

He cried. It was like the deafening shriek of a spanked little girl.

The entire crowd was moved. Some began yanking off their sanitary masks and throwing them to the ground in the height of emotion.

And pressmen captured every detail of the momentous drama and televised it live.

All that Kimberians expected from their president was for him to mount the podium and give a formal speech.

But President J. J.’s humanity had surpassed norms and expected standards a thousand times.

Viewers at home shed a tear while they watched the live telecast.

Newspapers sold all prints through the week within the first two hours of daylight.

And news blogs recorded a high traffic flood, some having their webservers crashed on the first day.

It was the top story on newspapers and on broadcasts in Kimberland throughout that week.

When, moreover, the international community caught up with the news, debates on whether Mr Jacobs deserved to be nominated for the year’s Nobel Peace Prize filled the Internet.

Soon, almost everyone clamoured that Jimi Jacobs should vie for the presidential seat again, at the end of his first term in 2021. Volunteers also set up campaigns and programs for him for a rerun.

The gorgeous middle aged President J. J. joined the league of Kimberland’s heroes in the heart of citizens that day.

But then, not in the heart of losers who had got nothing more to lose.

Those that would unearth even hades beneath the world.

» Click HERE to See Other Chapters of the Free Suspense WebNovel Reconquered!

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Copyright © 2020 by Kayode Olla

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