Damian: “I am sorry sir but I cannot accept your offer. You have children, give it to them. I am not a member of your family or related to you in any way. Besides, it is blood money and I want no part of it.” He said emphatically.
Chief Omuah: “young man, it is not blood money in the form you know it. The rituals are not meant to make money but to give me powers and bind me tightly with the order. My wealth is gotten from contacts and connections provided by them, I agree but if I was not business savvy, I wouldn’t have been able to utilize those contacts and turned them into profit. This does not matter though, there is a reason why I want you to have it.” He said, taking a seat beside Damian.
Damian: “whatever the reason may be, I want no part of it.” He replied.
Chief Omuah: “will you shut up and listen. I have been given seven days to make a sacrifice but it is already too late. These people already have their eyes on you and Osato. The foolish girl is pregnant for me. I need somebody strong and loyal to help me not only protect her and the child but to also fight the Order. They will come for the child, if he is a boy. They will want him to become a member and carry on from me. I need you to help me stop them. The wealth is yours to use as you deem fit until the boy is twenty years old. If the child is not a boy; build a big church and open it to all denominations. Let them pray for my soul and souls of those who have damned themselves. This is the request of a dying man please. Save my unborn child and the mother of my child.” He said, his eyes pleading with Damian.
Damian: “what about your rest children?”He asked, weary with the weight of problems that laid on his shoulders. Everyone was bringing their problems to him; Ruth, Osato, Chief Omuah…but he had no one to unburden his own to.
Chief Omuah: “when am gone, they become your concern.”
Damian sighed and leaned back on the chair. He stared at the ceiling for a long time then he got up, went to the bar and poured himself a glass of whiskey.
Rebecca smiled to herself as she scrolled through her phone. She was on Damian’s Facebook wall, admiring his wedding pictures. “He is a handsome man. Another time, another place, I would have had him on my bed. Oh well, you don’t always get what you deserve.” She thought to herself.
She typed Osato’s name into the search space on the top of her Facebook wall and she soon saw her face. “Hmmm…She is really a slut. This one will be easy. Look at her; probably has charms all over her body to entice men with. It is really sad that the two of them are not with the Order. They would have been good material.” She thought as she copied down Osato’s phone number on a piece of paper by her. At that moment, her phone beeped with an incoming text. She opened and read it to find out that Pius was dead. She stared at her phone screen, unable to believe what she was reading. She quickly dialed a chorister’s number and the girl told her everything that happened during the rehearsal. After the call had ended, she sat back and examined the girl’s story. “Pastor Jeremiah had been the last to talk to him. So that fool thinks he can take my boyfriend out just like that, right? He thinks he is all powerful right? He owns the church abi? He doesn’t know the number of souls that went into building that church, the fool. He is going to find out how petty he is right now.” She thought to herself as she locked her hotel room door and drew the curtains close. She laid straight on the bed and closed her eyes, placing both of her palms flat on her chest then she started the incantation that will free her spirit from her body. Slowly her spirit rose from her body and disappeared.
Pastor Jeremiah was in his office, working on the sermon he had planned for the upcoming crusade when he suddenly dropped his pen and stood up. He looked around his office and smiled
Pastor Jeremiah: “where are you hiding, little one? The stench of your fickle powers fills my nostril. Come out let us play.” He said; a sneering smile on his face.
Rebecca stepped into the room, her form flickering hazily in the afternoon sun. She clapped her hands and darkness descended. The darkness was thick and heavy. It clung to the skin like oily smoke. Pastor Jeremiah stood still and watched her walk towards him. When she got close, she opened her hands and the pits of hell opened, demons stretched forth their hands in a bid to step into the physical realm. She spoke and a great demon pushed all the others aside and stepped through. It had a chain attached to its neck and the chain ran straight to Rebecca’s wrist. It stood and looked at Rebecca with its red rimmed eyes
Rebecca: “kill the fool!” she whispered; then she bit her tongue and spat blood on the demons feet.
Pastor Jeremiah: “Rebecca! Now this is indeed a delightful surprise. i see you have been dabbling in things that your simple mind cannot grasp. What a pity, I had great plans for you.” he said in a bored tone.
The demon bowed and with a roar turned on Pastor Jeremiah with incredible speed. Pastor Jeremiah without breaking a sweat grabbed the demon by the throat and lifted it up
Pastor Jeremiah: “little girl, I have travelled and I have seen. I have been to the pillars that hold hell together. I have sat with the mermaids deep within the blue sea, I have flown on the backs of black bats in the deep of night, to places where trees walked and human tears watered bleeding flowers. I have sat with sages and mages and I have seen things that will beggar your imagination. You bring this brute before me like a proof of power. Do you think you have power? Let me show you power!” he shouted then he squeezed the demon and it turned to dust.
Rebecca staggered back as she lost some of the strength she had invested into the summoning. Suddenly, Pastor Jeremiah raised his hands and roots sprang out of the walls of the office, out of the ceiling and out of the floor and they all sped towards Rebecca. Her face filled with terror then she screamed and disappeared
Time Keeper appeared leisurely out of the empty darkness, without breaking a sweat he brushed aside the roots with a wave of his hands. He looked at Pastor Jeremiah and bowed
Time Keeper: “you have been busy since we last met, Jeremiah.” He said; his voice ever polite.
Pastor Jeremiah: “your charge has forgotten herself. She will have a nasty shock when she awakens” He replied quietly, dusting the sleeve of his suit.
Time Keeper: “I must apologize for her hastiness. This is not the Order’s business but a personal vendetta. There is a problem though…”
Pastor Jeremiah: “No power should function outside the Order right?” he said, a smirk on his face.
Time Keeper: “He will want to have what you know, Jeremiah.” He replied.
Pastor Jeremiah: “tell that old thief that he should come and take it. I paid blood price for this and I am not sharing. Let him dare and see how much knowledge I can choke his old greedy soul with.” He retorted sharply.
Time Keeper: “A kingdom divided unto itself Jeremiah, will break.” He said as he turned his back and created an opening in space.
Pastor Jeremiah: “we are not of the same kingdom, Time Keeper.” He replied.
Time Keeper: “that you think so shows your ignorance. Have a good day sir.” He replied and stepped through. He disappeared immediately.
At once, light came into the office and Pastor Jeremiah sighed. “The Order has found me after all these years. That little fool!” He slammed his fist into his palm in anger.
Rebecca struggled to wakefulness, her body shaking with shock and terror. She gibbered and curled into herself in the darkness of her hotel room, moaning and blabbering. She was a complete mess. A hole into space appeared and Time Keeper stepped through. He walked to the bed and stared at her then placed his index finger on her forehead and her face cleared. She opened her eyes and stared at him
Time Keeper: “I believe we had a conversation about distractions some time ago, madam?” he asked, quietly.
Rebecca: “He killed my lover. He killed Pius” she whispered, sobbing.
Time Keeper: “you have a job to do. Get on with it.” He said, turning away. “One more thing, stay away from Jeremiah, except you are prepared to die a horrible death.” He continued then he walked to the hole into space, through which he had entered the room.
Rebecca: “where did he get that kind of power? He broke the demon I summoned without stress.” She asked, as she struggled upright on the bed.
Time Keeper: “Jeremiah is none of your concern. Go about your assignment.” He said without turning back, then he stepped through the hole and disappeared.
Rebecca stared at the space where the hole had appeared. “Pastor Jeremiah’s name is not in the books, so he is not one of us. If so, how come he is so powerful when he is not a member of the Order? This could mean that there are stronger powers than what the Order offers. This bears investigating. Let me deal with these people first.” She got up and slowly walked into the bathroom.
At Third junction, Jackson asked Obed to stop him. He came out of the car and looked at Osato, who turned her face away, ignoring his attempt at a conversation. Obed smiled and winked at him as he stood on the curb, scowling.
Obed: “be wary young man. Your last move!” he yelled as he peeled away from the side of the road into the late afternoon traffic.
The rain had slowed down to a drizzle. Osato yawned and stretched. She had been dozing when the car came to a stop for Jackson to alight. She sighed and brought out her mirror to look at her face. She noticed the bruises where still obvious on her face and she brought out her powder and powdered her face. It will not do well to arrive home looking like a wet crumpled tissue paper. She looked to the front seat and saw Obed staring at her through the rearview mirror.
Osato: “what? Why are you staring at me like that?” she asked, frowning.
Obed: “how’s your prayer life?” he asked, solemnly.
Osato: “what! My prayer life? You want to turn into a pastor too? My prayer life is just fine being none of your business, thank you.” she replied, acidly.
Obed: “there is a storm coming and you are not prepared, my dear.” He replied; his eyes on the road.
Osato looked out to the sky. The sky was clearing up and the sun rays could be seen peeking through the disappearing clouds.
Obed: “you have been a drafted into a war, Osato. A war that you are obviously not prepared for.” He continued.
Osato: “Oga, abeg leave me o. I liked you better when you were masquerading as my driver. This sermon spitting preacher man costume you have on now is not just cool.” She replied, trying to be playful.
Obed: “if you knew what you escaped at Abuja and what is pursuing you now, you will run into a church and tie yourself to the altar, begging the pastor to pray for you, pray with you or even pray at you. A storm is coming, Osato.” He said.
Osato looked at him quietly, from where she was seated. The car slowed down to a stop and she looked out to see that they had arrived at her father’s compound. She opened the door as Obed got down and went to the booth. He brought her bag, as Isoken came running out excitedly. She bent down and caught the child and lifted her up. The two of them laughed and hugged, talking excitedly. Then she remembered Obed; she quickly put Isoken down and opened her purse to pay the taxi fare. Obed smiled and waved her money away. He walked close to her and whispered
Obed: “Ephesians 6: 11- 18, read it. You may receive a call from your friend in Abuja. It is dependent on if he decides to accept the mission placed for him. If he does call, listen carefully to what he has to say and take his words seriously. If you want to watch this beautiful girl grow as well as the baby in your womb come into this world, you better take his words seriously.” He said.
Osato looked at him curiously. The man had been hounding her all weekend but it had been a playful, carefree banter. This was different; the man was passing something important to her. She sighed and nodded. Obed nodded and entered his car. He looked out to the sky and shook his head. Osato looked at where he had been looking at but saw nothing. The sky was clear. She looked back at the car as Obed started it. His face was sad as she looked at him
Obed: “you have to be ready. A storm comes.” He nodded his head again and drove off.
Question: The kingdom of darkness is forever divided unto itself but will this stop the Order from pursuing its aims? Will Osato take Obed’s advice?
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