Osasu sat with her elder sister at the prophet’s place. She had explained to the prophet, the dream she had. The man sat still staring at a distance. He had not uttered a word after she finished her story.
Prophet: “This your husband’s girlfriend has tied him. We have to break him from that chain. Tomorrow evening, you will come with me to the beach. We will carry out prayers there. Take this soap and this oil. Bathe with the soap and rub the oil all over your body before coming. Do not eat anything but fruits, okay.” He said, solemnly.
Osasu nodded her head as she collected the items from the prophet. As she got up, the prophet coughed discreetly, she turned to him
Prophet: “Madam you have not tithed to God o. You should show appreciation to God for his goodness.” He said emphatically.
Osasu nodded, opened her purse and brought out five thousand naira, which she gave to the prophet. The man prayed for her and Mummy Uyi and they left.
The two men were tipsy by the time the lawyer came. Damian had pulled his shirt and he was seated with his singlet on. Chief Omuah was sprawled on a sofa. Both men were lost in the deep reverie that comes with being high. Chief Omuah contemplated his not so distant death while Damian contemplated his pending divorce, his HIV status and the weight that Chief Omuah had dropped on his shoulders. Both men sighed when the bell rang.
The lawyer wasted no time. The gateman and cook were called in as witnesses and Chief Omuah signed his wealth to Damian. Immediately after the signing, the lawyer left and Chief Omuah poured whiskey into his and Damian’s glass in order for them to make a toast.
The sitting room suddenly darkened; all light bled out in a blink of an eye. The very air stank like opened graves and moisture seeped into the room, cold and cloying to the skin like oil.
Chief Omuah: “run Damian! The Reaper comes! Run!!” he screamed as he turned to face the shimmering hole that had opened into space. Damian took to his heels.
He clapped his hands together and summoned a great demon from the netherworld. The demon’s eyes glowed like fire and in his huge hands he held two great double edged swords. He looked at Chief Omuah
Chief Omuah: “protect mine.” He simply said.
The demon bowed and turned to face the form that had entered the sitting room. If death had a human form, it was it. It stood seven feet tall, a skeleton dressed in black rags. A bone biting cold came off it in waves, and Chief Omuah fell to the floor, shivering, his face turning blue black as the cold ate into him.
The Reaper looked at the demon with the holes where eyes were supposed to be then it turned away again, its focus on Chief Omuah. The demon struck, its two swords moving in a blur. The Reaper did not even acknowledge the attack neither did the attack affect it. It kept walking towards Chief Omuah.
Chief Omuah struggled to creep away from the advancing terror. His lips suddenly opened in prayer
Chief Omuah: “Our father, who art in Heaven, hallowed by thy name, thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven…” he whispered, his voice shaking as the cold swallowed him whole. The Reaper kept on coming as the demon slammed its swords against it time and time again, “ Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Chief Omuah continued, his teeth rattling against each other as the cold crept slowly into his bones.
The Reaper never staggered or faltered, it never turned to reprimand or attack the demon, it kept on coming. Chief Omuah crawled backwards until he reached a wall. “Lead us not into temptation…” a skeletal hand wrapped around Chief Omuah’s throat and lifted him up from the ground. It drew him close to its eye sockets.
Reaper: “for betraying the secrets of the Order and given what belongs to her to another, you are sentenced to death. Robert Omuah, your soul is mine.” It said as it opened its mouth.
Chief Omuah: “but deliver us from evil, amen.” He concluded the first prayer he had said in years and closed his eyes.
The Reaper drew out his soul into him and he collapsed to the floor, dead. The demon in the middle of another useless battering collapsed into dust and disappeared. The Reaper turned and stared at the Time Keeper who entered the sitting room gingerly.
Time Keeper: “nasty work, I must say sir. He will not like this. No, he will not like this. Chief Omuah played smart.” He stood looking at the body of Chief Omuah thoughtfully.
The Reaper entered the hole in space and disappeared. Time Keeper raised his head thoughtfully then he walked to the front door, opened it and stepped outside.
Damian had run as soon as Chief Omuah gave his warning cry. He got outside the gate and turned back to look at the house. A dark cloud hung over the house motionless. “Dear God what have I gotten myself into?” he thought disbelieving his eyes. He turned around confusedly. The car was still inside the compound and he dare not go back in. the gate creaked open and a man stepped out. Damian looked at the man dressed in all black, staring at him intently.
Time Keeper: “so you are he? But you have nothing. I could squash you with a thought.” he said, surprised at what he was seeing.
Damian felt his wind pipe squeezed as if his throat was in the grip of a powerful hand. He struggled and fell to the ground, tears running out of his eyes. He stared death in the face and at that moment, he prayed for God to come to his aid.
Suddenly, a light flashed and Ruth appeared running, as she came, words of prayer spilled out of her lips.
Ruth: “As I serve the living God, the Alpha, the Omega, the beginning and the end of all things, the creator, my father, no weapon from the pit of hell shall come against me and mine. I command thee, release him and let him go, in the mighty of Jesus!” she prayed.
Time Keeper flinched back as she jumped between Time Keeper and Damian, looking really small before the tall man. Her face shone bright with an inner light. She stood before him unafraid. The pressure suddenly eased from Damian’s throat. He sighed as his vision clouded and he passed out.
Time Keeper: “finally you show yourself. I have always wondered about the person pulling the strings that brought this one into our board. You have proved yourself again, madam.” He said, bowing.
Ruth: “tell that abomination you serve that this man is a child of God. He is not the tool of any man. Let him come against him at his own peril. The bible has said it “touch not my anointed and do my prophet no harm. Be warned.” She said, standing warily, with her feet firmly on the ground.
Time Keeper: “we are winning this war, my dear. These weak things, you raise up again and again to oppose us, they are nothing. Go to the churches and see our works, go to the homes of men and see how we have manipulated the sanctity of the family unit. Even your protégée will lose because we have him where his heart is.” He replied, haughtily.
Ruth: “you never learn. That is the problem with your master and you, his servants. You always fail. You always will but you never learn. Get away purveyor of iniquity and evil works! I am done with you.” She banished him.
Time Keeper looked at Damian without his normal calm demeanor; this time a fire burned in his eyes as he stepped through the hole in space.
Time Keeper: “another place another time, Damian. We have plans for you.” he said as he disappeared.
Ruth sagged and the mightiness of her visage, the strength and the bright light that came out of her disappeared and she became again, a woman with a brain tumour. She walked to Damian and stared at him
Ruth: “you better be worth this.” She said then she bent down and gave him a sound slap.
Damian opened his eyes and stared at Ruth with fear in his eyes
Damian: “who are you? I saw you shining…I saw…” he said in confusion
Ruth: “get up let’s head to the hotel. We need to talk.” She replied.
Question: Who is Ruth? Do you think Chief Omuah’s prayer will absolve him of his sins? Osasu is going deeper and deeper into the clutches of hell. Will she realize on time?
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