The Chronicles X - The Camera 2

It was 6.45pm when Nate jumped down from the commercial bus and hurried through the hustle and bustle of Ikeja. 
He haphazardly crossed the road conjuring insults that questioned his parenthood from crazed bus drivers. 
He turned at a junction into an interior road. He had reached the famed Otigba computer village – a neighborhood where almost every building had become outlet for the sale of all manner of computers and InfoTech equipment. 
But he had come too late. The shop he had come to had closed. He ran through the adjoining streets searching for other shops that sold cameras. The ones he saw didn’t have what he needed.
Totally exhausted, he leaned against an empty kiosk that stood at a street junction, his eyes roaming the area to see if there was any shop that might seem to have what he wanted.

‘Bros, you wan buy something?’ a hoarse voice speaking in pidgin English startled him and he spun round to see it belonged to a lanky young man carrying two flat screen monitors. He was probably a shop owner who had just closed for the day.

‘Y…yes. I wan buy digital camera.’ Nate found his voice seizing in-between his panting as a result of his run.

‘Check the shop down that corner for the end, you go fin’ cheap one there.’ He nodded towards a corridor between a couple of two storey buildings. The corridor receded down in a long stretch with shops on either side. 
It was hard to see the end as it seemed to disappear into darkness.

Nate strolled cautiously down the corridor. He occasionally came across a shop owner just about locking up his shop. 
Finally he came to the last shop which was actually the end of the corridor. On the glass door hung an ‘Open’ sign on it.

He pushed the door and it opened with the creak of a drawback spring. As he stepped into the shop, the spring swung the door back into place. He looked around.

The shop looked more like a place where mostly used electronics and digital items were sold – many of which where displayed in glass cases, some perched on shelves in protective plastic nylon. Digital cameras, radios, laptops, mobile phones, palm pilots, scanners, printers and many other items populated the shop like it had been arranged for a quick junk sale.

‘Can I help you?’ A soft spoken yet deep baritone voice startled Nate, making him upset a collection of Software magazines piled on a table next to him.

The owner of the voice was a balding middle aged but well built man sporting a full moustache, dressed in a short sleeved, tight-fitting, green and yellow Ankara fabric shirt with a thick collar - all on top of a pair of green stonewashed jeans. 

‘Whoa! You scared me!’ 

‘Sorry about that. Hope I didn’t scare you too much.’

Nate gave him a funny look and the man gave a friendly laugh. 

‘Most of my friends complain that I’m way too quiet a person and that freaks them out. So, what can I do for you?’

‘I need a digital camera.’

‘What type?’

‘Uumm…how about you recommend a good one for me?’

‘May I ask why you came to this shop?’ 

Nate was unprepared for the question.

‘Well…most of the digital camera shops were closed. And someone directed me here. Why do you ask?’

The man moved towards an office table, perched at the edge.

‘Nothing. Just curious. So you need a real good digital camera you say?’

‘Yep. Something that won’t cost me too much.’

The man smiled and stroked his well shaven chin.

‘That won’t cost much shey? Hmm…I think I have just the camera for you.’

He got up and went into an inner room behind the office desk.

Nate stood there for the next five minutes wondering if it was a good idea to buy from this guy. He juggled odds slowly in his head but before he could reach a conclusion the man was back with a dusty cardboard box.

Nate suddenly began to loose interest. The box looked like it had been abandoned for years. It was about the size of a small jewelry case but was far from looking anything like one. It had markings on it which had faded so much that you could hardly read what was on it. It still had strips of old worn out tape clinging loosely to it – evidence of tampered packaging.

‘Is this new?’ he asked in a hardly impressed tone.

The man didn’t answer him. He placed the box on the table, dusted it with a piece of rag then opened the flaps of the box. He lifted a set of white protective foams and set them on the table. Then with expert care lifted something out of the box and laid it on the table before Nate.

Nate gasped and blinked several times. 

The box was nothing to write about but the content - the camera that lay in it was something else. 

It was a professional digital Single Lens Reflex camera unlike any which he had never seen before.
It had thick rubber padding round the areas where your hands rested and glistening steel running along its edges. It’s already attached lens stuck out like the barrel of some powerful weapon. The wide LCD view finder shone just like the glistening steel outlines. 
But above all, the most striking thing about this camera was its name – Seer

‘'Seer'? What kind of company makes a camera with a name like that? Don’t you have any well known cameras like Canon, Pentax, Olympus…’

‘I do. But trust me, none of them can do wonders like this guy here.’

Nate bit on his lower lip and looked at the Camera again. The lights in the room shone on its seemingly well polished steel areas. It was a good looking camera but he wasn’t even thinking of putting down his money for it because he actually wanted to buy a cheaper portable point-and-shoot camera.

‘I can’t afford it.’

The man leaned forward with a smile.

‘I never even told you the price.’

‘So what’s it worth?’

‘It’s worth how much you can afford.’

Nate couldn’t believe his ears. He looked at the camera and back at the man again.

‘Excuse me, but don’t mistake me for some ‘yahoo yahoo boy’. I have only 15K here and that’s not enough to buy the cheapest professional camera.’

‘That’s true. But not in this case.’

‘Is this a stolen camera?’

The man laughed.

‘Of course not. It’s actually a unique camera that’s undergoing a test-run and I’m giving it to you to try it out.’

Nate snorted disbelievingly.

‘For 15K? Bite me!’

The man pushed the camera closer to him and Nate felt the urge to own such a gadget building inside him. The man leaned on the table, a sincere look playing through the slight wrinkles on his face.

‘Forget the money. Take it for a test run for the next two weeks. Give me a call anytime you’ve got issues concerning its operation. Here’s my card with my phone numbers.’

Nate gave him a shocked look.

‘Bros, you’re not even bothered that I might not return it?’

The man scoffed, reached into a drawer under the table and brought out an unused cardboard box and placed the camera in it and handed it to Nate.

‘You’ll return it.’

The sincerity in the man’s voice shook Nate a little. It was so strong that Nate believed that he would return it. He held tightly to the box, hardly believing his luck.

‘What about its manual? It must have come with one.’

‘Trust me. You don’t need one.’

Somehow Nate believed him. 

‘Thanks sir, thanks Mr…,’ he flipped over the business card, ‘Mike?’

‘My pleasure, Nate. Enjoy the camera.’

Seconds later they both walked towards the shop entrance. Mike opened the door, bid Nate a final farewell then locked up the shop from the inside and disappeared through the door behind the desk.

Nate held tightly to the box and walked quickly. He was still in a daze. He couldn’t believe his luck. His mind ran through the drama that just took place in Mike’s shop.

He froze when something suddenly dawned on him.

He had never introduced himself to Mike. 

So how did the man know his name?

He glanced down the corridor he had just emerged from, thoughts racing through his befuddled mind.

What the heck was going on?

To be continued...

© Lolu Kush (Afronuts) - Story
© Kimson Masters - Illustrations

14 Screamer(s):

OluwaDee said...

keep the story coming.
Did Kimson specially draw the illustration for this post?

What the heck is going on? hurry, more more please...

What the heck is going on? hurry, more more please...

Afrobabe said...

wow, wow, wow..that is the best most desciptive thing I have read in a while...truely well written, cant wait for the remaining...hope u publish it...

A tun ti bere (we don start again).
The guy behaviour is scary o.

Well, I am waiting for what will happen to Nate...

mike said...

Please dont keep this reader waiting? Nice piece. And for your comment on my blogg, well, thanks, I dont do copy copy.

Kush...update now! Don't keep us waiting for too long, abeg

Kush...update now! Don't keep us waiting for too long, abeg

wait, interesting. Okay where is the next part? Sorry to increase the pressure, but...

That pic was great how did you find it? It worked perfectly.

Afronuts said...

@Oluwadee…yep. Kimson drew the pictures according to the story.

@Poeticallytinted….I’m coming…I’m coming…lol

@Afrobabe…Girl are you serious? My my…thanks so much. I never knew I was that good.

@Standtall…lol. Beeni o. Atun ti bere.

@Mike…will update. Just stay tuned

@blackjamesbond….mo ti gbo oh!

@Solomonsydelle…okay easy on me ma. I just posted this one naw. And I didn’t find the pic. It was drawn for the story. What’s worth doing is worth doing well (God bless u Dad for that quote)

Olufunke said...

Very interesting........
Please dont keep us in too much suspense.
I'm scared about the camera and whose the seller guy is, scared for Nate.

You write very well.
More grace!

Enkay said...

Hi! Thanks for your comment on my blog.

First time here and I really think you write well.

I'll be waiting for more!

Anonymous said...

ok he never introduced......whoa wait, ummmm ok hurry with the rest pleasssssssssse!

Buttercup said...

hmmmm wow..okayyyyyyyyy!