Welcome to the Seventh and last episode of SEVEN. Sorry for not posting this earlier..
*bypassing all formalities and going straight to the point*
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She shuddered at the sound of the twig that snapped under her weight and paused to look around for the umpteenth time. Her eyes registered no emotions as her eyes glimmered under the moon light. It that been ages she came here and it still felt the same way.
The silhouette of the tombstones in the distance sent a chill up her spine and she wondered why she never came here in broad daylight. The only time she did, her wailings had halted a nearby procession and the widow of the deceased was visibly shaken. She cast a long glance into the woods while playing the events of that day in her mind and was brought back to reality with the heavy breathing of the Labrador some distance away. She smiled at it and it wagged its tail expectantly. Twelve years she had visited here and all of those days, she had met the stray here. She had grown a liking for him and he obviously felt the same way.
She sticks her hand in her bag and brings out a nylon full of bones and tosses it in the animal’s direction.
There you go boy.. I hope you’ve missed me.
It ignored and resorts to feasting on his new meal. After watching him for about half a minute, she surged forward. She could see his tombstone now and the marble still gave a glossy appearance compared to its surrounding neighbors.
Neighbors in death; she thought. How ironic.
At the foot of his tombstone, she knelt.
Bishop Ayomide Damiel
A man at peace with even his enemies, no wonder the Lord loved him.
She chuckled at the irony of the short description of her Grandpa. No wonder the Lord loved him… She couldn’t contend that though.
• • •
11 YEARS EARLIER
Light beamed at him from every direction; he uses his right hand to keep out the glare from his eyes while his left hand clutched the microphone tightly.
My last sermon… he thinks… It’s time…
After while, his eyes get accustomed to the light and he beamed a smile which made the fifty thousand congregation cheer. They clap in unison and echo out his name.
A couple of blind men jump up at the uproar and immediately receive their sight. Their screams and amazement attract the attention of the other worshippers in the church to the Healing section of the auditorium.
The spirit is moving.. he finally says. He closes his eyes and lifts his hands to accommodate the move of the comforter. Give him space, he said… and watch him work.
About thirty minutes later, no sound could be heard anywhere in the auditorium , the congregation was seated and the only people standing were the ushers and himself.
Good morning Church.
Good Morning… they reply
He nods his head lightly at their response and continues.
Today, I’m introducing to you; The power in his name, but first, let me tell you a short story.
The congregation focus on him with absolute concentration. He looks over to the Minister’s family corner and sees her. She was staring at him, gingerly mopping every word that came out of his mouth.
Nifemi.. he says under his breath, pay attention, this is where it ends. At that instance, she nods her head like she had heard what he said.
• • •
He stares in amazement as blood drips from his bound wrist to the drawn image below. Everything was blurry now and he could barely see his nemesis. All he could hear were chants that were startlingly understandable to him.
What language is that? he manages to ask.
Your chants, what language is that?
well… the devil answers. he hesitates and his countenance is obviously disturbed.
It’s a mixture of Aramaic, Greek and some kind of supernatural language. something you wouldn’t expect man to ever understand.
Then why do I understand you?
I guess so. It just sounds like my local dialect to m… his statement is interrupted with his coughs and his body aches with the sudden movement against the barb wire.
I don’t know. then he quickly adds, …probably cos your human nature is quickly leaving you and your real form is emerging.
Yeah… thought I told you; you weren’t human.
Oh, you mean the Angel gist.
It’s not gist.. it’s true.
Okay. and he stops to think as the devil resumes his chanting.
Wait! what’s the difference?
Between what?! His nemesis visibly irritated with the continuous questioning asks.
My human form and the angel form.
Well… you get more intimate with things of the spirit basically.
Like with other angels and stuff?
With God too?
hmmm… you think I would fall for that again?
You already have.
huh, how? He looks up to see the bound man and watches him mouth some words. His eyes clearly read the instance where Ayomide’s lips say Amen and he curses as a bright light flashes from nowhere. He covers his eyes with his both his hands to keep out the blinding light and opens it seconds later. The light was gone and there was Ayomide or whatever was left of him standing right in front of him.
His form is different. Flames seemed to ooze out of his skin and his eyes shone. His apparel was a sparkling white robe and his feet seemed like they were made of a precious gem. He stares in amazement as wings emerge from the rear of the quickly forming angel in front of him and they tower at ten feet. He smiles as a memory flashes through his mind and the eyebrows of the creature in front of him rise in enigma.
Why do you smile? His stance is daunting and his charisma heavenly.
Cos I remember what I used to be…
• • •
He rounds up the benediction and blesses the congregation.
An Amen said in unison closes the service and people begin to disperse out of the different entrances to the auditorium. She runs to him and he carries her and hugs her. He then holds her face to his and rubs his nose against hers
I hope you were listening.
Yes Grandpa… Is that where the story ends?
No.. We’ll finish it together tonight.
Yaay! she says delighted. I can’t wait.
Me too. He smiles and puts her down.
I’m coming home, father… Ten paces later; he pauses and looks to the heavens through the open airspace in the auditorium.
Don’t tell me you have another plan up your sleeves? He waits for an answer.
Seconds later, when he doesn’t get any reply, he snorts.. In everything, Let your will be done.
As the clock strikes nine, he stands up from the dining table and proceeds to his office. Moments later, Nifemi gets down quietly from her chair and follows in his footsteps.
She meets him staring into space and couldn’t help but notice the tears glistening against his skin courtesy of the fluorescent light directly above his workstation.
Grandpa.. she waits for a response and get none. After calling a few more times, she tugs at his night robe and he shudders. He looks at her and throws her a smile.
Why are you crying, Grandpa?
He rummages his mind for an answer and gets none.
Well.. he finally says. I’m going to see God soon.
Really?! she asks enthusiastically. Can I go with you?
No, dear.. you stay here on earth and fulfill your purpose.
No buts, he interrupts her. You can’t go with me. I’ll still be here so you won’t miss me.
He heaves a sigh of relief. Care to join me finish the story?
Okay. he carries her over to the sofa and sits while carrying her on his right lap. Where were we then?
• • •
Your true self? Ayomide asks puzzled.
Yeah… I used to look like you… actually better. With that, he lifts his hands and utters some incantations.
I really don’t care if you’re an Angel or not, you’re going nowhere today. I’m taking down to the pits of hell tonight.
Ayomide slowly shakes his head and calmly says; You still haven’t learnt.
That you don’t touch His anointed… Does that ring a bell somewhere? He gestures by putting his fore finger to his head and slightly bending his head to the side.
Where do you get this courage from?
Well, am an Angel in the vast army of angels solely devoted to pleasing God, why won’t I be sure of his protection? In fact, I think your time is up. He stretches his hand forward and a two edged sword appears in his palm.
Off to go to your damned abode!
Slowly, the devil starts vanishing starting from his feet. Quickly he mouths some words under his breath, puts his hand behind him in a sign of submission.
I’ll be back for you… and your children…. and their children….
yeah, yeah… I’ll be expecting you.
• • •
Spittle dribbles out of the girl’s mouth to his night robe and he cleans it off with a hanky. He stands up while carrying her in his arms and advances to her bedroom. In her bedroom, he places her gently on her bed and drags the blanket over her body. He regulates the air conditioner using its tiny remote and drops it on the side stool beside her bed when he was satisfied with the temperature of the room.
When he returns to his office, he sits on his rocking chair and picks up his bible. He puts on his reading glasses, opens the book and starts to read.
How long have you been there? He asks without looking up.
Hmm… a couple of hours I guess. Listened to the end of your story, good story telling skills you’ve got there, but I can’t help not notice that you didn’t tell her how you became man again.
She does not need to know that. He looks up to the reaper now. His Spirit would teach her if she needs to know it.
Okay. Without further ado, you know why I am here… any last words?
Ayomide ignores him and flips to the Psalms. He opens to the chapter that had kept him going all these years. He clears his throat for the last time an starts to read…
The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.
He maketh me lie down in green pastures
He leadeth me beside still waters
He restoreth my soul
He leadeth me in the path of righteousness for his name’s sake
Though I walk through the shadows of death, I will fear no evil
For thou art with me………..
• • •
The barking of the Labrador jerks her back to reality and she turns back to look at the dog. She sees him facing east of her and notices the hair on its body upright and its tail erect. She quickly searches her bag for a flash light and her glasses case. She hurriedly removes them from their case and puts them on.
She then peered into the woods and sees the finger pointed at her. She takes time and realizes its a fore finger that is being pointed and immediately, she knew……
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