Ruth walked into the church premises slowly. She walked past the members of the church cleaning the church premises, singing praises. She walked on until she got to a side entrance of the church and watched a well dressed woman arranging the altar decorations quietly. A small boy sat on the first pew swinging his short legs to and fro, his eyes moving all over the place. It was obvious that he was itching to explore but has probably been warned not to move an inch.
Ruth walked to a pew where a man knelt deep in prayer and sat beside him. The man finished his prayer, made the sign of the cross and sat down. He didn’t show any sign of surprise at seeing her beside him.
Obed: “you look weary. Haven’t done this kind of job before?” he asked, his eyes on the woman pining the altar cloth around the altar.
Ruth: “this is a special job. I am usually involved in more exciting issues.” She replied, sighing.
Obed: “so you are bored?” he asked, smiling.
Ruth: “oh…no. this is one of the best opportunities we have had of thwarting evil. We cannot waste it. They have operated without fear for too long.” She replied fervently.
Obed: “Osato is difficult to define. She seems shallow but she has depth. She seemed like just surface beauty but she is more than that, I promise you. Getting her to become aware of what is going on around is difficult as long as it has nothing to do with herself and her child.” He said slowly, gears rolling his head as he thought about it.
Ruth: “Damian is a dear but he is also easily misled. He sees the good in people and is surprised that people can be evil. He is broken though and even though he has been offered the power to fix himself, he is still intent on walking in the dark.” She mused.
Both of them sighed and rested their back on the pews.
Ruth: “what if we stop being passive and take an active role in this. The hand of the Order is hidden in the death of Hezekiah but I feel they will show their hand with Chief Omuah.” She suddenly said.
Obed: “who is their agent?” he asked, looking at the little boy, who now had his head under the pew.
Ruth: “an adept. She is young and ambitious. She thinks she is a master at the game, so she will fall hard if pushed.” She replied.
Obed: “then let us push.” He said.
Ruth smiled and got up. She left the man and walked to where the boy was seated, his head still bent under the pew. She laid her hands on his head and walked on. The boy raised his head and looked around but saw no one. He looked up and saw his mother staring at him with her mouth wide open.
Obed looked at them and shook his head. “That boy will never be satisfied with little now. He will strive for greatness. I certainly believe he will be great in the Father’s house.” He thought to himself. He looked up and smiled. Soon the pew was empty with just the sun rays reflecting on the dust motes circling in the air.
Damian got to Chief Omuah’s palatial residence in no time. He rang the bell and the gate was opened for him. As he got to the door, it was opened for him and he entered to meet a strange girl seated comfortably on a sofa, a glass of drink in her hand. Chief Omuah climbed down from the stairs at that moment to meet him standing in confusion.
Damian: “where is Ruth? I thought you said she was here?” He asked, his face worried.
Chief Omuah: “I do not know about a Ruth. This is the girl you said I should tell to wait for you. Is she not the one you wanted to see?” he asked stiffly.
Damian:”I do not know you. Why do you claim to know me?” he asked, turning to Rebecca.
Rebecca: “well I needed a reason to enter his house and your call gave me the opportunity. Also I wanted to see you. I have heard your name mentioned somewhere before but I can’t remember where.” She said, her eyes on her index finger circling round the rim of her glass, a small smile on her lips.
Chief Omuah: “what sort of game is this? My friend, get out of my house this minute before I lose my temper!” he shouted, his eyes red with anger and something else; fear it would seem.
Rebecca: tut..tut..Chief Omuah, hot temper doesn’t suit you. You need to relax more. I have a message for you. Seven days…that is all you have; Seven days. Thank you for the drink.” She said, draining the remaining drink in her glass in a gulp.
Chief Omuah’s eyes grew large with fear. He took a step back and hit his knee against a stool standing in his path. Rebecca smiled and got up. She walked to stand in front of Damian
Rebecca: “I could do a lot with a specimen like you. We should hang out sometime.” She said, her hands trailing a scorching path down Damian’s t-shirt.
Damian: “I am married, sorry.” He replied, snatching her hand off his shirt.
Rebecca: “not for long, if I get on top of you. You can ask around.” She laughed, her voice tinkling merrily. She walked to the door, stopped and turned back on the two men; “lest I forget, who were the girl and the man with you at the hotel? He wants to know.” She asked.
Chief Omuah looked at her, still shaken by her message. He walked on unsteady feet to the bar and stared at his face in the mirror.
Chief Omuah: “her name is Osato. She lives in Benin and I believe she is long gone from here. He is the man.” He replied, pointing at Damian without looking at him.
Rebecca turned to Damian and looked at him curiously. Then she burst into laughter.
Rebecca: “at the last general assembly, you spoke of bringing in an adept. He is the one you intended, isn’t he? Jeez, this is so funny. Who did you offend Damian? Why did they choose you as their pawn?” she asked, staring at Damian with mirth in her eyes.
Damian: “I do not know what the both of you are talking about. Adept of what? Who is the He? What is going on here?” he asked, his face a curious mix of fear and confusion.
Rebecca: “so sad. Pawns…they never seem to know anything. Have a good day Chief. Damian I will see you soon.” She said and walked out of the house.
Damian turned to Chief Omuah, he stood pouring himself a glass of whiskey. Damian walked to him
Damian: “what is going on here? Since I came to Abuja, you have been acting weird. What have you got me into? Who is that girl?” he stopped talking as Chief Omuah handed him another glass of whiskey.
Chief Omuah: “there is something I have to tell you.” he said quietly as he downed his drink and poured himself another one.
Pius stood some distance from the choristers as they prepared to start their rehearsal. The church was empty except for them. He stood looking at his phone in surprise. He had tried to do a transfer of some funds to his account and his bank app had just informed him that his account that was supposed to contain millions of naira, had nothing it. That was impossible. He dialed Jackson’s number but his number was not reachable. He felt betrayed. Jackson had been his friend for years. He had trusted him. He sighed and tried to reach Rebecca. He had not seen her for some days now and nobody seemed to know where she was. Her phone rang but she didn’t pick too. He sighed and dropped his phone into his pocket. As he turned back to join the choir, he saw the new General Overseer walking towards them. He grimaced in irritation. He and Rebecca had agreed not to put pressure on the man yet but he detested the way the man walked around like a king; his head raised high, his eyes looking at everyone as if they were grass.
Pastor Jeremiah got to where he, Pius was standing and stopped. He stared at the choristers who kept a respectful silence.
Pastor Jeremiah: “Brother Pius, let’s speak in private, if you please.” He said, walking slowly passed the choristers without showing any sign of acknowledgement of the greetings he received from them.
Pius joined him as they strolled towards the main entrance of the church.
Pastor Jeremiah: “this church needs to be sanitized. There are some many demonic entities in this church masquerading as Christians. We need to cleanse the house of God.” He said.
Pius kept a respectful silence. He didn’t have an answer for that. Besides, his knowledge of pastor Jeremiah’s person, made it difficult for him to take the man serious.
Pastor Jeremiah: “where is the money, you and your girlfriend stole from the church?” he asked suddenly.
Pius: “I do not what you are talking about sir. If it is Rebecca you are referring to as my girlfriend, then you must be mistaken. Evidence have shown that you and her have a relationship that is questionable not I and her.” He retorted.
Pastor Jeremiah: “I see you are well informed. I have always wondered about those involved in the late bishop’s debacle but now I am getting the picture. It was a good talk.” He replied smiling. He patted Pius on his shoulder and walked out of the church.
Pius watched him go with a foreboding of evil. He shivered and turned back to join his choristers. As he walked back, he quickly drafted a text message. The message said; ‘He knows about my involvement in Bishop Hezekiah’s fall. He knows that I know that he is one of your sexual partners but he is not afraid. He seems satisfied. Where are you? I am worried.’ He sent it to Rebecca and soon he forgot about it as the choir started their rehearsal.
As they rehearsed, Pius started feeling a slight pain on his shoulder. He ignored it and went on discussing with the choir about the songs they will be using for an upcoming church program. Gradually, the pain increased. As he turned to pick his bag where he kept his music book and his other church documents and items, he staggered, the pain hitting him hard. He screamed and the choristers rushed to him.
The pain had spread to his neck and to his mouth. He could not speak. He soon started choking and vomiting blood. The choristers got Pius into the church bus and got the driver to take him to the hospital but before they got there, he was dead.
Question: do you think Pius’ death was natural? Who do you think Ruth and Obed are?
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