The room door burst open as soon as Esther screamed in pain. Osato came out bearing her father’s pistol. She had seen it hanging on the wall when she ran into his room with her daughter, Isoken. She had ignored it at first but her sister’s scream had made up her mind for her.
Amadi moved back on seeing the pistol staring at his face. Jackson quickly walked to the door. Amadi, noticing how Osato’s hand shook, smiled
Amadi:”do you even know how to use that thing?” he asked, a smirk on his face.
Osato raised the gun up and pulled the trigger. The bang shocked her and as she jerked, her hand involuntarily squeezed the trigger again and again. Amadi and Jackson dove to the ground immediately. Esther closed her ears on the ground and whimpered in fear. The bullets soon finished in the gun but Osato kept pressing the trigger, the continuous clicks sounding weird after the loud bangs the gun had made.
Amadi on hearing the clicks got up from the ground and looked at her with murderous hate in his eyes. He strode towards her with evil intent but Osato didn’t run. She spread her feet and held the gun as a club, her eyes red with cold anger.
Osato: “today one of us go die.” She said quietly.
Amadi stopped in his track and looked at her fearfully. He raised his hands and moved backwards. Osato looked at him in surprise then she smiled.
Osato’s Father: “it is wrong to force a lady, young man, especially when she is my daughter.” He said; his police issue AK47 pointed calmly at Amadi.
Jackson: “we are leaving sir. We apologize for the damage sir. Amadi make we dey go.” He said quickly, dragging Amadi’s shirt. Amadi turned and both of them ran out of the house.
Osato: “I am not running anymore! Come at me anywhere, any place any time, I will fight you. Fool!” she said, tears coursing down her face as the enormity of what had happened hit her. She crumpled on the floor and wept.
Osato’s father sighed and dropped the gun close to her feet. Osato looked at the gun amidst tears
Osato:”Papa, the gun cartridge empty o.” she said, in surprise.
Osato’s father: “ehen…no bullet na. No be who look well go notice?” he asked.
Osato burst into laughter, her body shaking. Esther joined and her father too.
Obed walked slowly along the side of the road, his eyes on the ground. Along the road, a long line of cars crawled through the traffic jam that was customary at this time of the day at Third Junction in Benin. He trekked with his head bowed until he got to the roundabout and stopped.
At the edge of the roundabout, on the road divider, he stood, the Preacher. He had a megaphone in his hand and a tattered bible in the other hand. He was inviting the tensed, worried drivers to repent and give their lives to Christ. He told them that God loves them and wants them to be with him in heaven for all eternity. He told them that Jesus Christ came and died because of them. He told them to have faith and believe in God. The drivers moved slowly and turned their ears and minds away from his droning voice. Their thoughts were filled with office work, bank balance, vacations, mechanic, rent, school fees and the everyday life issues that blind man from God’s purpose for all.
He didn’t preach about wealth neither did he give self help talks and call it the gospel. He told them to come to Christ; to worship God in truth and in spirit but they were not interested. He went on preaching, unperturbed by their disinterest.
Obed watched him for some minutes then he crossed the road and went to him
Obed: “winning souls for Christ is a difficult task eh?” he asked, sadly.
Preacher turned and looked at him and smiled. He dropped his megaphone and shook his hands enthusiastically.
Preacher: “you…you again. I have not seen you or your sister since that incident at Ijebu Ode in 1996. God wrought awesome wonders that day. I will never forget. I have been preaching ever since. You have not changed a bit.” His greeting was effusive with admiration.
Obed: “A Storm is coming sir.” He said quietly.
Preacher nodded in agreement. “I have sensed it in my troubled sleep. And here you are. You always around when big things are about to happen. The enemy is about to make a major move. But I do not see what they are after. That is what troubles me.” He replied, his face squeezed in a puzzled frown.
Obed: “a lady needs you. Osato is her name. Go to her and share the word with her. Prepare her for the battle that comes for she and another have been chosen to open the doors of salvation but the enemy is at the door. If the enemy wins, the souls we have won for Christ, we might lose and the ones, like these ones” he said, pointing at the people driving to work, “who are yet to take the word in, we might never win.” He continued.
Preacher stared at the long line of cars then he stared at Obed. He switched off his megaphone and gathered his things.
Preacher: “show me where she lives.” He said.
When Damian felt better, he called Osato and told her what Chief Omuah had told him and what he himself had witnessed. He also told her what Ruth had told him.
Osato: “there is this man that has been following me about for some days now. He told me the same thing; something about a storm coming. He even told me to read a particular bible verse. I don’t understand; I am a school dropout, with no skill. I do not even go to church much except for festive days. I am pregnant for a man old enough to be my father and we were not even married. What can God see in me that he feels that I am the one suitable to battle the devil?”
Damian: “I don’t understand either but who can plumb the depths of God’s thoughts? I have seen things that I would have discounted as unreal if someone had told me; people appearing out of nothing, beast summoned from the pit of hell. There is more to this world than what we see. I am coming to Benin soon but I must first go home and make peace with my wife.” He told her.
Osato: “I do not know what to do. When we meet maybe we can both make sense of these things.” She replied and they ended the call.
Rebecca came out of the pool with a roar. Her eyes were completely black and her face looked like that of a wild animal. She raised her nose in scent then she heard a sound and turned to see the master standing up from the position he had taken since she entered the pool.
Master: “Welcome priestess, to the hall of secrets. Your soul is now bound to us forever. Go and destroy your enemies.” He whispered.
Rebecca stepped out of the pool into the waiting bathrobe on the outstretched arm of an adept. She wrapped herself within its softness and stared at the pool. The things she had gone through inside that pool were not to be imagined. She shuddered and walked out of the room purposefully. It was time to clean her board.
Master watched her leave then he squatted before the pool and dipped his index finger into it and drew circles.
Master: “It is almost time.” He whispered.
Time Keeper stepped out of the darkness and stared at the pool, his face impassive.
Time Keeper: “yes it is. The girl was a superb find, sir.” He replied.
Master: “The world as they know it is about to change and they seat there unknowing and uncaring. If only they knew what is coming. ” He said, still stirring the water. “If only they knew.” He repeated.
Osasu woke up to see herself on her bed. She looked around and saw Mummy Uyi, peeling oranges and placing them on a plate.
Osasu: “what happened to me? I feel weird.” She said.
Mummy Uyi: “I no know o. as the prophet dey work na you faint.” She replied, handing an orange to Osasu.
Osasu held the orange and looked at her speculatively. She opened the orange and took a bite, immediately she started throwing up. Mummy Uyi watched quietly then she picked Osasu’s phone and dialed Damian’s number.
Mummy Uyi: “Damian how you dey? No be Osasu, na Mummy Uyi.”
Damian: “good morning ma. Where Osasu?” he asked, wondering why she was calling him with Osasu’s phone. He had never liked her. She gave him the shivers with her red eyes.
Mummy Uyi: “your wife no well. Abeg where you dey? i too old to dey carry am up and down.” She replied.
Damian: “Ok. I dey take the first flight now. I dey come Lagos now. Abeg just carry am go hospital, I go come meet una for there.” He replied, panicking.
As soon as the call ended he started throwing his things into his bag and getting prepared to leave. Ruth entered the suite at that time.
Ruth: “I went Chief Omuah’s area. His body has been found. They say it is a heart attack that killed him.” she said.
When she got no reply from Damian, she looked at him and saw that he was not even paying attention to her.
Ruth: “what is the problem?”
Damian: “my wife is sick. I need to go to her.” He replied.
Her eyes opened wide then she ran to Damian and held him.
Ruth: “Damian, do not go. It is a trap.” She said.
Damian: “what! Are you serious? She is my wife! My wife! When I am sure that she is okay, I will go to Benin.” He replied, zipping his bag and rushing into the bathroom for a quick shower.
Ruth: “It is a trap Damian. Your wife is gone. Something else hides behind her face now.” She muttered to herself. “…behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.” she said aloud, quoting the scriptures
Question: Hahahaha…Amadi didn’t expect that now, did he?Will Osasu listen to Preacher? Do you think Damian will be able to survive the trap? The tension builds. Stay on, don’t go nowhere.
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